I am MBACP (Accred) Counsellor/Psychotherapist abiding by their Ethical Framework.
I practice an active listening form of therapeutic counselling and have extensive experience (10yrs+) listening in depth with traumatized individuals. I do so, by cultivating an empathic way of being with clients to establish safe communication portals via relentless empathy.
For most clients creating new boundaries around these thresholds represents the limits of their therapeutic requirements. For others, these newly formed domains are launch pads into the realm of becoming. Either way, my non-intrusive empathy, is always drawn from the spirit of high acceptance.
Maintaining the spirit of high acceptance is fundamental to cultivating an empathic way of being. Not only does relentless empathy flow from these overlapping layers the quality of its verbal aspects in dissolving perception distortions depends on them.
Relentless empathy is the work horse of attentive listening. For example coaxing, nudging and shaping new life from emotional undercurrents of existence, resistance and traumatic persistence.
Emotional dexterity is the center of gravity grounding empathy within the counselling process. Being emotionally received advances therapeutic healing intimately. Empathic empowerment forged from emotional struggles endures the test of time.
Therapy formulated within non-emotional protocols results in empathic poverty. Counselling like life cleansed of empathic vitality soon grinds to a halt. Relentless empathy affirms the life force within the counselling process.
Empathy is a detox for the crushed spirit, "yet evidence of empathy deficit in society is everywhere we turn."1 A bleak landscape indeed however, empathic oases do exist.
For example, "empathic understanding of the kind that the person-centred therapist seeks to offer is the result of the most intense concentration and requires a form of attentive listening which is remarkably rare." 2
An empathic way of being dissolves alienation, promotes the relationship therapeutically and guards against any unintentional harm to clients or me. I find the interpersonal dynamics of an empathic way of being surpasses static theories, techniques or manuals based protocols. It is the golden highway to being present with a client, navigating beyond their swirl of unresolved suffering.
There is no substitute for an empathic way of being. However it does require continuous openness, deep acceptance and a highly evolved intuitive intelligence to counsel in an actively listening style.
Reflecting on and checking understanding of expressed, underlined and unformed feelings, supports clients and me to tune into, connect and strengthen their organismic flow.
"Body awareness puts us in touch with our inner world, the landscape of our organism."3 These inner communication cues polish the active listening mirror within the counselling frame, to awaken clients' inner stillness. I make use of silence, metaphor and draw on over-a-decade of reflective practice experience, to utilize carefully clients' fear-triggered perceptions, which may obstruct nervous system calibration.
For example, the wash of emotional tears is highly cleansing, in its own right, "even if crying is a sigh of helplessness,4 it can relive stress and depression".5
Working with highly charged feelings and complex emotions, can be challenging, rewarding and transformational for both client and counsellor. "Counselling can be a vibrant experience carrying an intensity of relating which in itself is a major vehicle for therapeutic change." 6
Many humans have lost touch with the organismic wisdom of their visceral landscape. Nurturing, respecting and recruiting our senses, ignites our spirit and thirst for life once again.
An empathic companion safely orientates clients towards sensory and feeling impulses, because "when feelings become known to the self within the organism that processes them, feelings improve and amplify the process of managing life."7
I believe only an empathic way of being can affirm life in all of its possibilities, struggles and splendor.
For many clients this distance from within is laced with traumatic experiences, adding complex obstacles and preventing direct access towards the rewards, a developed emotional and feeling-based life has to offer.
So much energy gets siphoned off to maintain a fragmented sense of self. Yet no matter how sophisticated denial structures operate in suppressing painful memories, the nervous system flashes echoes anew into an already overloaded mind. Moreover, numbing these escaped shards, that make up hosts of symptoms, confuses movement towards congruent living.
Enhancing experience is key in bringing about an actualization renaissance.
An empathic way of being enables clients to re-evaluate their intricate web of incongruence, alongside their emerging vitality of congruence, ensuring that the respect between known and, more importantly unknown, aspects of a journey through vulnerability, are never compromised.
Quotes 1-7 not mine.
Child and Adult Workforce Carer: Offering guidance, encouragement to 8 adults, program leader, support workers while also leading and offering a range of counselling skill to over 55 adolescents. May/June 2014 July/Aug’2015 Elizabeth House, London SE17NQ.
Residential Detox (Alcohol/Drugs) supervision/counselling: Supervising 7 day tailored treatment programme. Jan’2013. May 2014
Child Workforce Counsellor: Participating in the educational activities at all girl special independent school, to better gain from highly resistance traumatized pupil’s 100% commitment to (re)enter the counselling process while creating the conditions for setting up a bespoke counselling service. May-November 2014 The Learning Centre, Orpington BR51EB
School Counsellor: Working therapeutically with deeply troubled, poorly motivated and aggressive pupils. Apr' 2013-May 2014 Pupil Referral Unit, Bromley BR29EA