Counselling vs Consulting
I draw a very distinct line between what constitutes a Counselling relationship and a Consulting relationship.
Consulting from my standpoint is a relatively transactional relationship where knowledge and insights are offered and exchanged from a logical and rationally oriented point of view. This is where trouble shooting and problem solving can be performed and goals and planning activities can be envisioned and formulated.
In this role I can offer both “technical” Behavioural Science information and processes to help fill knowledge gaps for clients as well as acting as a confidential and understanding sounding board for developing new and creative insights and ideas. While it can still be warm and engaging, from the perspective of depth of interpersonal interaction, Consulting dwells nearer the surface of a professionally oriented relationship.
Typical examples of Consulting engagements are private or group subject matter workshops, short and long range planning preparation, and conflict or crisis intervention and resolution.
Counselling in this practice focuses on the emotional experience. Supporting a client who is experiencing a period of emotional uncertainty (disequilibrium) in their lives involves operating in a different interpersonal “gear” and with a level of sensitivity and depth.
The Counselling process often initially involves simply providing a space for clients to safely express troubling thoughts or feelings and helping them gain a more clear sense of their immediate circumstances.
In specific cases where Loss or Trauma of varying degrees may have shaped a client’s circumstances, great care can be applied to gently come to a broader and deeper understanding of how traumatic life experiences may be adversely shaping current thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
When appropriate and sufficient trust has been established, a deeper exploration of a client’s potential innate and environmental influences can be thoroughly explored to help develop fresh insights, increase self awareness and secure lasting positive change in their lives. Throughout this process I apply established, evidence-based theories and techniques in a highly trained manner. I do this of course, in my own way.
The way I approach a deeper Counselling engagement can best be described as a process of guided, self-discovery. It begins with a thorough understanding of a client’s deeply held personal values which alone can often create a shift in perspective and the building of an empowering sense of self worth.
From here we work on assessing how well the client’s “working beliefs” (those they feel are necessary to function effectively in the world) align with their “core beliefs” (based on their deeply held personal values). When a gap exists between these two types of beliefs, tension occurs. Over time this tension can build and cause discomforting, and sometimes debilitating, self-limiting personal conditions.
Helping clients to discover their unique, deeply held, personal beliefs and developing the means to express these meaningfully in the world is how I help them find deeper personal fulfillment in their day to day lives.
It’s quite common for some clients to begin with a Consulting engagement and then gradually progress into Counselling work. It is just as common for other clients to begin with a Counselling engagement and then gradually progress into Consulting sessions. This general process of alternating between growth and renewal tends to repeat itself for each of us in various ways throughout our lives.
We all go through periods in our lives when change of one form or another is necessary to restore harmony and build upon our enduring, empowering sense of Self. It is my sincere hope that you may find that here.