I had learned all of the techniques that would enable me to practice a form of shamanic healing. I had learned to 'Divine' (which isn't fortune telling or predicting the future). I had learned to make Extractions and Soul Retrieval. I also knew how to help people find their Helping Spirits and what they could do with them. I had learned quite a few other things as well, but the list gets too long...
Although my training did include client-practitioner interaction, it wasn't until much later, after a few years of practice, that I realized how little I knew about basic counseling skills. I had a big gap where topics like Active Listening, Empathy, Open Mindedness and having an unconditional and positive regard towards the client should have been present.
So I took it upon me to learn these skills. I will have a diploma in Counseling in early Autumn 2011. Right from the start I could see the difference in how I can positively direct my attention towards my clients, how I can give them space to express themselves, as they are and as their issues are, and lastly how I can help them explore, understand and come up with their own problem solving strategies.
I think I'm on the path of truly being a Shamanic Counselor (which isn't the same as being a Shamanic Practitioner) - but I do realize that this is a never-ending path of development and learning - yet it is a happy one and I travel it without reluctance.
Client Centered Counseling
Psychologist Carl Rogers established a more Humanistic approach to psychotherapy in the 1950s. It is commonly known as the Person Centered Approach or the Client Centered Approach. Through the establishment of a Therapeutic Relationship (based on Empathy, Unconditional Personal Regard and Integrity), the Client and the Practioner (the Helper and the Helped) can explore the client's problems, come to understand the client's problems and eventually seek problem solving appropriate to the client's wishes and needs. The method is non-directive, non-analysing (it isn't psycho-analysis) and non-hierarchic. Counseling is considered different than Psychotherapy. Dutch counsellers Berend de Bruin and Martin Vulker descibe in their book 'Counselins-training' how both domains overlap, but are still essentially different. Psychotherapy is 'intra-psychic', while Counselling is 'inter-personal'.
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