Hello again – Michael here!
One of the privileged aspects of what we do – is being witness to the many stories and journeys of peoples lives – from where they began, and trying to make sense of it all when life brings challenges we feel unprepared for.
For myself, making sense of it all began in a nondescript building and chance encounter [for those with a religious leaning – Grace was playing it’s role] I was at my crossroad – life events brought my spirit and soul to a place of refining and a rediscovery and excitement of my own story still to be written beyond the boundaries and redefining Self. I should say here that at this particular juncture, I had played my part in teaching and supporting our next generations within the Scottish Education system for the better part of two decades, and the friendship and support of all colleagues during these times were full-filling.
That chance encounter, played out in the Scottish Borders – hiking around the Scottish Border trails – here the stirring of a new story was to emerge. Was I ready, I recall a particular individual on completion of an introduction course coming alongside and suggesting that “I really think you should consider becoming a counsellor” so began the writing of a new story and journey, alongside those who we encounter as broken and lost searching for meaning and purpose in their lives.
The first week I remember as clear as yesterday the question and a challenge made to everyone – which resonated in my being – “I want you to reflect on why you are here, that you are either in this fully with your whole self or not at all, for your life and even friendships will be changed”. A few hikes and bike rides – in reflection and listening to that “still small voice” that is within all of us – and usually drowned out by every other emotion and demand of the day; a picture emerged of being in this with both feet. Brought that catalyst for change and a journey of relational depth that allowed a greater freedom and understanding.
In my story, I have found listening to the many clients a yearning to be heard, understood and a frustration from their own journeys of childhood have left them without the tools or emotional language to reconnect with their inner selfs – to be given space and time to validate and encounter their childhood emotions and feelings which have an impact of their relationships with their families; partners; children and work colleagues.
I have found that the building of trust (faith) within the client and counsellor relationship has the capacity to help the client rediscover their own stories from childhood, at the same time feel safe within the relational space we offer. By leaning in within this space and listening to the “Still Small Voice” can enable the client to change and give space in the mind and heart to imagine a legacy beyond the current situations brings hope.
Look forward to our next meeting.
Some literature of interest
“The Still Small Voice – Psychoanalytic Reflections on GUILT and CONSCIENCE”, Donald L Carveth, Routledge, New York, USA 2018.
“Working at Relational Depth in Counselling & Psychotherapy”, David Mearns and Mick Cooper, 2nd Edition, VSAGE,2 Nov 2017.
“Healing Development of Trauma” – How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulations, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship, Laurence Heller, PhD and Aline La Pierre, PsyD, North Atlantic Books, Berkley, California, USA, 25 Sept 2012.
“The Changing Mind”– A Neuroscientists Guide to Ageing Well, Daniel Levitin, Penguin Random House UK, 2020.
“Psychoanalysis with Wilfred R Bion “ – Contemporary Approaches, Actuality and the future of Psychoanalytic Practice, Francis Levy, Routledge, London and New York, 2020.
“In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts Close Encounters with Addiction”, Gabor Mate, Vermilian, London Penguin Random House UK, 2018.
“The Language of Emotional Intelligence”, Jeanne Segal, PhD, McGraww-Hill Education, 1st edition, 22 July 2008.