Talk Therapy & Healing Words

Expressing differences requires attentive listening

One the key elements of counselling is the transformational power of words used to describe events, feelings, and memories. The role of your therapist is to be keenly aware of the details you share about the problem you are experiencing.

Where you opt to engage in couples counselling, this listening role of your therapist intensifies. The ways you speak about your problems constitutes the “evidentiary support” for mood, poor health, or generalised unhappiness and problem resolution.

Healing begins as soon as you speak, write, or share your views about the problem you are experiencing. The process of articulating a problem for another person to understand also helps you to further process and understand the problem for yourself. In this way, talking about your problem develops a framework for understanding it.

Therapeutic or counselling conversations are different from causal discussions with friends or family. A third party listener who is dispassionate that is, uninvested in your problem offers a neutral listening ground for the articulation of your problem-based perspective to take place. This is often an important first step, although not really needed to heal. Solution-Focused Therapy SFT begins by exploring times when the problem is different, less intense, or absent and never really enters the problem per se.

Once stated or articulated, your problem may be viewed, analysed, explored, and investigated by your therapist and yourself.

Of course, conversations are dynamic and transactional, such that your therapist contributes words or perspectives during the initial sharing of your problem. Some therapists and models only listen during this initial session. Others trained in single session or solution focused models, use even this first session to enter or join in the ways you tell your story, so to offer plausible words or perspectives for understanding your problem.

You will decide which models of therapy work best for you by how you feel at the end of your session and over the first couple of weeks of treatment.

Understanding other points of view is important to getting better

You will also begin to feel better as the words and perspectives used to describe your problem change. As your heart heals, your words and perspectives do as well. Remaining open to the views of your therapist and those involved in counselling with you guarantees improvement.

#wellness #SFT #couplescounselling #healingwords

Launching a start-up: Private practice in the making

It is often the case that social workers transition into private practice in later stages of the profession. In the early years of practice, most social workers grapple with the role. The struggle to balance the clinical intensity created by stories people share with the ever-present pressure to account for and build a repertoire of effective clinical interventions founded on models of care and compassion is ongoing. Social work has grappled with its own professional identity over several years and has certainly matured more recently. Nestled within a range of service providers including psychology, psychotherapy, child and youth work, and psychiatry, social work borrows tenets of service that are strength-based. It is often the role of the social worker to mine personal and family stories for health, strength, ability, and potential. The carefully crafted social work skill to interview for strengths emerges only after several years of practice. It is not an easy task to help people locate strengths at first. Problems, troubles, issues, dilemmas, and unexpected events cloud judgment, create conflict, and disrupt otherwise healthy personal, family, or social environments. It is only after years of practice and with the expert support of clinical supervisors, that professional social workers gain the much-needed confidence and skills that truly work to settle stormy waters. Clients demonstrate their own healing in real ways and, when able, freely articulate areas of personal growth, change, and development in the confidential and safe space created with their social work clinician. People require options to access highly qualified expert caregivers that best meet their own personal needs. Social workers offering private practice options are responding to a growing need for easily accessible expert models of healthcare built on years of field practice, excellent supervision, continuous professional development, and compassion. Launching a start-up is anxiety provoking. Finding the right location, managing expenses, and learning to maximize social media in healthy and proactive ways are all very exciting and time-consuming aspects that happen well before meeting your first client. Building a network with clinical social workers in private practice is important as the move to a fee for service model is a professional milestone likely to trigger emotional reactions. A private practice in the making is a common late stage experience for many social workers as they transition to retirement. It is an excellent way to provide high quality specialized care to a small number of individuals, families, or groups requesting support in your area of expertise. My new start-up will be updated on TheModernSocialWorker for use by other clinical practitioners interested in starting a private practice of their own.