What type of Counseling?
The types of counseling listed here are not by any means exhaustive (although, any one of them can be exhausting!) these are listed here to help give an idea of what is available from many competent counselors, and specifically where we focus and what we are gifted in and passionate about.
SOCIAL GROUP Counseling
All counseling begins at the individual level. Our only way of perceiving the world is internal, subjective, as an individual. All of our interactions with others are dictated by our preconceived ideas about our self. Before changes can be made in how we interact with others (anyone and anything 'outside' of ourselves) our internal perceptions must change.
The next level of extension from our individual identity is that of a couple. We will take that to mean a romantic couple. Marriage, Premarital, Pre-premarital (dating) counseling is a vital step
Family counseling is the most valuable (and lacking) form of counsel. How many of us (parents) have had the opportunity to objectively observe our own parenting? Most of the patterns that we find ourselves in are either directly how we were raised, or a knee-jerk opposite reaction ("I'll never do that to my kids...") Either option is reactive not proactive. The opportunity to slow down enough to ask each other, "why did I do that?", without judgment and shame is transforming. This perspective can only come from an outside observer.
Group counseling is the extension from 'family' to 'community'. So much can be learned by breaking down the crippling assumption that we are unique - the only one with these problems, the only one who feels this way, the only one... This isolation leads to hopelessness and despair. In a healthy and "safe" group environment, we not only learn from what we are going through, but more often learn from what the others are going through. Real people, with real hopes and dreams, being honest enough to allow you to walk with them as they grow, is powerfully transforming.
Grief is an intense negative emotion that most of us have little or no experience with. Instead, we use our energy trying to avoid situations in which we must grieve. We need to know that grief is a natural (though scary and painful) emotion that ALWAYS accompanies loss. The loss of a loved one may be more intense than that of a job but both require grief to close the door and move on. If we don't grieve the small loss of a television show or some expectation that we have that loss is stuck in us. The next time that we experience loss the need to grieve is that much more powerful. (At this point the cycle becomes vicious: the less we grieve, the more feelings of loss build up - the more potential for overwhelming grief, the more resistant we are to unleashing the beast...)
The important thing to remember about addiction is that we are all addicted (to something(s)) and regardless we are addicted to, the underlying cause is the same: we need something to make us feel safe / whole / alive, and the longer we go without it the less safe / whole / alive we feel. So it seems, the only way to get the craving to be quiet is to feed it. We are all addicted to breathing. The longer we go without it, the more we want it. After holding your breath for a while, you even lose your ability to say "No". You pass out and gasp for air. Thus goes the vicious cycle of addiction. For all intensive purposes, if you don't give in, you will die. (An effective method for learning how to separate your craving's 'voice' from your decision making is Fasting.)
The example above is descriptive of ALL of the 'addictions' that we live with, some things that we are 'addicted' to are positive and contribute to our health and well-being, others are negative and destroy our health and relationships. The point still stands, whether it is alcohol, jogging, overeating, under-eating, or pornography, they all spring from the same unfulfilled, underdeveloped, and undernourished part of us. Some kill us faster, some more slowly, but what really separates the acceptable from the shameful is simply that some are more socially acceptable than others.
As we mature we pass from total Dependence though Independence and on toward Interdependence.
DEPENDENCE -> INDEPENDENCE -> INTERDEPENDENCE
As infants we are hopelessly dependent on our caregiver for everything. Without intervention we cannot survive. This develops into a less dependent toddler, school age child, until the dramatic search for autonomy during the teenage years. Some time (hopefully) after this radical shedding off of dependence there is a back swing toward Interdependence. This is the post-college aged 'child' who can see their parents as helpful and can actually take advice.
This developmental process can be disrupted in two major ways. First is simply getting stuck. We all know people (some of you know me!) who have not yet progressed all the way from infantile Dependence to adult Interdependence. That's ok, they may need some help moving through, but they are on track. Most common in this halting is those who refuse to mature beyond the teenage "I can do anything, and I don't need anyone..."
In addition to the developmental halt, is the developmental sidetrack. When the normal development is disrupted to the point that Dependence is never really finished because the rules have changed. Co-Dependence is the deep belief that there are things that "I can never do for myself". These folks lead a life of searching for the perfect solution to their problems.
- Behavioral / Developmental / Special Needs
Professional Development is coaching individuals through job / career pitfalls, to reach their potential in that particular arena. Through experience from above, I have found that many professionals are not able to achieve that next level of success due to internal boundaries. These can be the "glass ceiling" place on / in them, or inner vows that at one point were made to protect, are not (often many years later) hurting. I deep down you do not believe that you deserve professional success, don't worry, it won't overtake you. These self-sabotaging ideologies can be removed, but not without reconciling why they are there in the first place.
I addition to 'professional counseling', we also do more traditional Professional Development: management and organizational theory, print and media design, and communication and conflict management training.
November 11, 2008
Is God Efficient?
Is God efficient? Is God concerned with getting the
most Bang for His Buck? Can we even evaluate His
best, from our viewpoint? If I can discover a ‘best’ way to do things, God
should be able to do so even better...