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Healing the Hurts
of Capitialism
Azi Khalili &
Mike Markovits
Sunday, July 28

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Almost all of the things for you NOT to do as a counselor will come under the general heading of: DON'T let the Client's Troubles Bother You. This, of course, is much easier said than done. This is the problem which you will never completely solve but which will improve as you work at it through your own counseling.

However, some particular things can be watched for.

Don't Be Suggestive

Refrain from telling your client what you think of his problem.

Don't tell her of similar problems you have or that you know of.

Don't interpret for your client.

Don't give him "good advice" or point out answers. Answers are no good to him unless he has worked them out himself, and yours will only constitute a barrier to working out his own.

Try to spend your time listening... NOT talking.

Don't React Emotionally

The only correct attitude toward your client's problem is one of interest and relaxed concern. Indifference on your part will make you quite ineffective, but so will hostility or any other kind of emotional upset.

Equally as true, any kind of sympathetic response from you will constitute an obstacle to a person's handling his own problem. If you "sympathize" with a client's problem, you will be reacting out of your own stored up problems and the client will feel this and be inhibited by it.

Don't Interrupt Discharge

When a client is discharging, don't interfere. You will often feel moved to help him accelerate or deepen the discharge, and this is sometimes possible. Be very perceptive to the results of what you do, however, and if there is any slackening of discharge, stop what you are doing and return to what you were doing.

Be Courteous

Avoid any appearance of discourtesy in the keeping of appointments, in manners and attitudes, in tone of voice. A client - even an amateur client - is placing great trust and confidence in anyone he accepts as a counselor and is most sensitive to any kind of offense.

Who Decides What to Work On?

It will be unworkable for you to approach your client with any preconceived notion of what she should work on or what is available. Sometimes you will have a rough idea from preceding sessions, but even then your insight will be limited as to what is the actual availability and readiness of material for counseling.

A client can always in some way bring to light the thing that needs to be worked on. She may tell you directly, having thought about it ahead of time. She may seem to be at a loss, and yet, given an opportunity to talk under her own direction (tell the story of her life, or such), she will eventually bring up the topic which will show signs of agitation, indicating the need for emotional discharge.

Whose Job to Keep at It?

Once having found material available and ready to be worked on, however, a client cannot be expected to break through into discharge by himself nor to stay with the material for repeated recountings that will make sufficient discharge possible.

Here it becomes your responsibility as counselor to keep returning the attention of your client to the point of emotional discharge over and over until a thorough job can be accomplished. You will do this even when the client seems to be making great efforts to distract himself and you away from the material.

Last modified: 2022-03-01 00:56:43+00