014 – Assignment Referrals – 19 Propositions 2 – Rapport-Building – Eclectic versus Integrative Counselling
In episode 14 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly look at assignment referrals, and what learning we can take from these. Rory then continues his decoding of Carl Rogers’ 19 propositions, and ‘Skills with Ken’ discusses rapport-building. Finally, Ken and Rory discuss the difference between eclectic and integrative counselling.
When we are drawn to helping people face-to-face in the counselling room, it can seem frustrating and tedious to have to prove ourselves through written assignments. Often, counselling students are juggling training, placements, supervision, paid work and personal commitments.
The most common reason to get a referral in an assignment is not that you do not understand the theory, but that you have not answered the question precisely enough. This is not failure: keep at it, and you will get there. Ken recommends a book, The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, which looks at the link between passion and resistance.
Rogers' 19 Propositions 2
Rory covered numbers 1 to 8 of Rogers’ 19 propositions in episode 13 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast. Here, he completes these, decoding propositions 9 to 19:
9. I am emotionally present in my behaviour. My feelings are part of how I attempt to get my perceived needs met. What I feel now strongly depends on how important the need is.
10. The values I attach to my experiences and how I value myself are based on my own experience but also include values taken and absorbed from others. I may be unaware of some of my values derived from others.
11. There are a number of ways I can meet my experiences. I can make personal some of the meanings and integrate them into my view of the world. Or I can ignore them because they do not fit with how I see myself or the world.
12. I usually behave in ways that are consistent with how I see myself. So if I believe that I have little value, I will behave as if this is true.
13. Underlying needs and experiences that I deny or distort – or have not managed to make sense of – will tend to leak through in my behaviour. This behaviour may be less consistent with how I see myself. I am not likely to own this behaviour.
14. When I am connected to my authentic being, I am able to be open to my actual experience – its immediacy and totality – and to integrate this into the world.
15. When I disconnect from my own self, I will deny my awareness of my own experience, so it will be very difficult for me to make sense of the world and other people. This causes unease and tension (sometimes known as ‘incongruence’).
16. I may find the experience threatening if it is inconsistent with how I see myself in the world. The more experiences I find threatening, the more rigid my sense of self becomes, and the more tightly I cling to my viewpoint.
17. If I feel accepted and understood, I may be able to look at experiences I had previously denied. When there is this lack of threat, I can begin to make sense of myself. In this way, I am healing myself.
18. When I am able to hold in awareness and integrate all my actual embodied experiencing, I am inevitably more understanding and tolerant of others, and more able to understand the value of others and to accept them as separate beings.
19. When I am able to reshape my view of the world and myself, and include previously denied experiences, I begin to reshape my values. I can let go of introjected values and become a fully functioning person, trusting in myself and my own experience.
Rory illustrates each proposition with real-life examples.
Rapport – the sense of connection between the client and the counsellor – is both a basic building block and an advanced skill in the therapeutic relationship, of equal importance to beginner and experienced counsellors alike, and in every modality. It is more a way of being than a specific skill: who you are rather than what you do. Ken looks at how we as counsellors can encourage an environment where rapport can grow organically:
- Be mentally prepared and ready for the client’s arrival, present in the moment.
- Ensure the counselling environment is safe and uncluttered.
- Remember details and names mentioned by the client in previous sessions.
- Use mirroring, observing the client’s tone of voice, pace, weight of material etc.
- Always provide the core conditions: empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard.
Eclectic versus Integrative Counselling
What is the difference between eclectic and integrative counselling? Rory uses the analogy of soup to explain the difference – integrative counselling being seamless, like a well-blended soup; and eclectic counselling involving selection from a range of therapies, rather like a pile of separate ingredients.
Richard Erskine has written extensively on integrative therapy.