250 – Counselling Terminally Ill Clients

250 – Counselling Terminally Ill Clients

Donald Winnicott’s True and False Self - Protecting Your Data Online

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In Episode 250 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly discuss this week’s three topics:

  • In ‘Theory in Practice’ we’ll look at Donald Winnicott’s theory of true and false self.
  • Then in ‘Practice Today’, Rory and Ken discuss protecting your data online.
  • And finally in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Paula Mayes on counselling terminally ill clients.

Donald Winnicott’s True and False Self [starts at 02:56 mins]

This segment of the Counselling Tutor Podcast is sponsored by


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Listen as Rory and Ken delve deeper into Donald Winnicott’s theory of true and false self, and how this may present in the therapy room.

The key points of this section include:

  • True and false self is determined by how far a young child is allowed to be themselves by their caregiver e.g. if a child is told something along the lines of ‘boys don’t cry’, this will effect the way the young boy grows up, and his relationship with showing emotion through crying.
  • These children grow into adults, and adults present in the therapy room – allow them to show their true selves.
  • Clients may show this through being childish, aggressive, or by challenging you – this is the client showing parts of themselves they couldn’t express as a child.
  • The counsellor will need to be strong and robust to manage this - undergo your own therapy.
  • It’s about you being the good enough other.
  • Being accepting and non-judgemental.
  • The client needs to feel loved and respected – this will allow the client to bring their true self.
Theory to Practice is sponsored by

Counselling Skills Academy

Learn counselling techniques by seeing counselling skills used in real sessions by qualified therapists.
Real sessions – real-life presentations – real skills.

Protecting Your Data Online [starts at 16:37 mins]

With a large majority of what we do being done online, it’s important that we’re aware and being careful with how and where our data is stored.

The main points of this discussion include:

  • If something is free (e.g. Google Calendar etc.), there is likely some kind of exchange happening instead, such as storing your data.
  • Look at privacy policies to see just how your data is stored and what certain websites/applications do with it.
  • You should also have your own privacy policy if you're a private practitioner with your own website - this is required by law.
  • Sometimes your data may be being sold, or shared with various ‘partners’.
  • You should be able to request for your data to be deleted.
  • Your data doesn’t disappear/go away; it can be kept and stored for a long time.
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Counselling Terminally Ill Clients [starts at 30:01 mins]

In this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Paula Mayes about working with terminally ill clients.

The key points of this discussion include:

  • There are various challenges for these clients:
    • Often counselling is only available through charities/cancer centers.
    • Cost
    • Psychological impact.
  • All of these factors make it difficult for a client with terminal illness to want to receive counselling.
  • Beginning to work in this area might come from your own individual interest or experience.
  • Understand how you feel about the subject of death. What are your experiences with death, cancer, illness etc.?
  • Do you have the death competence to be suited to this area of work?
  • Working in this area can help to erase certain stigmas around death, as it can be considered a taboo subject.
  • When counselling terminally ill clients, remember that different cultures have different views and rituals around death.
  • Some clients may become more spiritual at this time in their life, discovering new beliefs etc.
  • The client doesn’t stop living just because of their prognosis.

The National Counselling Society is proud to sponsor Practice Matters.

NCS are really excited to have launched their Children and Young People Therapist Register for counsellors working with the younger age group.

To find out more, visit nationalcounsellingsociety.org or simply click the button below.

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Donald Winnicott's True and False Self

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