093 – Dyslexia and Counselling Studies – Immediacy as a Skill – Personal Development Linked to Theory
In episode 93 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes talk about what it means to be dyslexic as a counselling student. In ‘Practice Matters’, Rory talks about immediacy as a skill. Last, the presenters discuss personal development (PD) and its connection to theory.
Dyslexia and Counselling Studies (starts at 1.48 mins)
Both Rory and Ken are dyslexic – and proud to be so! With their personal experience of what this means for counselling students, they offer the following tips:
- Bear in mind that being dyslexic is in essence a form of neurodiversity – and, as we all know in the world of counselling, diversity is to be celebrated.
- Play to your strengths, not your weaknesses – you will have abilities that people who are not dyslexic can only dream of.
- Don’t think that you are alone: being dyslexic is a frequent topic of conversation in our Facebook group.
- Don’t be ashamed: sometimes, our experiences during school days can leave us feeling so, but take time to look at and question those introjects.
- Believe that things can and will be different in counselling training. Ken describes the life-changing and liberating moment when his first tutor (Rory!) confidently wrote something on the classroom board (complete with spelling mistake) – and calmly and unapologetically stated that this would naturally happen because of his dyslexia.
- Remember that clients aren’t remotely bothered whether or not their counsellor is dyslexic.
- Hang onto the fact that the only thing that really matters in written communication is that you get the message across.
In summary, why not join Ken and Rory in embracing your dyslexia? After all, Counselling Tutor may well not exist if they hadn’t been dyslexic. Because of their own learning styles, they have seen the need to create resources using all different kinds of media – i.e. blended learning, to suit people who learn in different ways. So while the Counselling Study Resource (CSR) does include text-based materials, you can also find (for example) audio and video resources, infographics and Venn diagrams. We also have in the pipeline a course specifically on dyslexia.
Have you been helped by our range of study materials? If so, please leave us a review on our business page on Facebook. This really helps us extend our reach to other counselling students who could benefit from our approach.
Immediacy as a Skill (starts at 13.20 mins)
In this ‘Practice Matters’ slot, Rory explains what immediacy is and is not, describes its importance, and provides concrete examples of how it can be used to get past blockages in the therapy room.
Immediacy is not simply about saying whatever comes into your mind: rather, it involves thoughtfully sharing what is going for you as the counsellor (e.g. feelings, instincts about what the client might be feeling, and perceptions of what seems to be going on between you). Immediacy can support both congruence and the client’s awareness of what is unsaid or even hidden – so helping to deepen the therapeutic relationship.
Personal Development Linked to Theory (starts at 18.21 mins)
PD is an important part of counselling training, and is also likely to be the topic of a number of assignments. Ken and Rory discuss key theoretical concepts that link to PD, which you could draw on in this assessed work. These include Carl Rogers’ seven stages of process, introjected values, and conditions of worth (linking to the shift from an external to internal locus of evaluation).
While these concepts form part of the person-centred approach, there is of course relevant theory in other modalities too – for example, the parent/adult/child model and life scripts in transactional analysis.
PD is often as much about accepting – rather than changing – who we are. The overall aim is to bring into our own awareness more and more of what we (and maybe even others) were previously unaware of. The Johari window is a great tool to illustrate these different ‘panes’ of awareness.