What is the role of experience compared with training and orientation? Evidence suggests that training and 'school' of psychology is relevant for about five years then experience takes over.
Hopefully after five years the clinician has integrated their training and no longer counsels from a intellectual program. Instead the therapist is free to be real and encounters the client(s) in a real way. This helps everyone to be real and relax.
I have reached this stage of being relaxed and comfortable with myself and natural with clients in a way that allows them to be comfortable with me. In this state of relaxed alertness we are able to be more creative and productive and insights seem to flow well.
I am happy with my training and my experience. I have over 40 years experience and a Masters of Science degree in School and Community Psychology. I find I am able to quickly focus on the essential issues and goals are achieved quickly. Christian sessions always begins with prayer inviting God's Spirit to be present and work in us and with us to make the session effective and it is so.
Counsellors have different emphasis in their practice. I guide clients in a process of experiencing significant life change by discovering and resolving the root issues and core beliefs behind their symptoms. I enjoy this. It would be my my joy to help you achieve permanent changes in your life.
Your main issue - the symptoms of core issues - might be addictions, depression, anxiety, or the loss of a marriage that works. You may have had too much loss, or trauma, or heartache. You may realize your life has repetitive problems and do not know how to stop them. These are the kinds of issues/symptoms that my training and experience equips me to deal with.
As in cognitive behavioural therapy, I focus on core beliefs. I listen to you and your feelings. People begin to feel less depressed and more sane and confident in themselves. My gentle, non-judgemental approach is ideal for someone needing to consolidate identity or support in a major crisis.
In couple work I use Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. In individual work I make use of: Memory Consolidation, the Journey, and inner healing tools. Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy is explained in "Hold Me Tight" by Sue Johnson. "The Journey" is described in Brandon Bays book by that title.
Intuitive me - that part I call my spirit - would not settle for anything less than what it was looking for. My intellect had no words for this and did not drive this search. It was the inner me that wanted to live, to be loved.
My intellect - my conscious self - had settled a long time ago for something less than this. Consciously I was a liberal Christian. I accepted the scientific worldview as my faith perspective. I accepted being good and getting the right answer at school as my task. I accumulated many badges at Scouts. I delivered the morning paper.
I was not conscious of the enormous pain in my soul. I has no words for the depressed state of my spirit. I has no explanation for the urgency of my search. Year after year I kept reading books related to theology and more.
I had an interest in anything that showed up with information about the spiritual world. This is the world that the rational me, by accepting my dad's scientific and materialistic world view, denied. According to that perspective there was no separate 'spiritual' world.
But like Curious George the monkey, I was curious. I pursued evidence of this world beyond.
Dad was a distant father. He was away 3 out of 4 years of me early childhood. He sat behind his paper after supper and refused any disturbance. If we bothered him he bellowed 'Outside!' and we were all shuffled outside to play. Then at 7:00 PM we were sent up to our beds to sleep. And that was true even in the summer months when the sun was still up and other kids were outside playing.
Mother was the happy smiling parent. She got me up in the morning and prepared a glass of cold milk for me before I headed out to do my papers. Oh yes, I had to get up at 5;45 because the Globe and Mail was supposed to be delivered by 7:00 AM. Mom encouraged my achievements at school and through Scouts. She encouraged the people pleaser in me.
Mom kept the kids quiet so we would not disturb dad. She taught me 'Peace at any price.' My parents did not allow rough housing, or tickling among us kids. That protected us from harassment by our siblings. But there was something else happening here.
Mother avoided feelings. That explains why I did not understand my own feelings of depression. We did not learn to express our feelings from mom or dad.
In fact we were taught not to express our feelings and not to express our pains. Mom put these on ignore. It was like growing up on a kibbutz where your contact with parents is minimize and child care workers and peers are your main social interactions.
We developed very high pain tolerance. we ignored pain signals and did not share our aches and pains. We developed ignorance to our emotions as no one was listening.
When in her teens my sister Janice tried to engage and express what was on her heart, mom shut her down. This is how deep was our training to avoid engaging at the personal level.
As the compliant child, I supposedly accepted all of that. But no. My heart did not. My spirit rebelled. Under my 'Nice Guy' exterior was this search for engagement and thus love.
My Inner Rebel was not going to settle for anything less than life, love and miracles.
How do you find something you do not know that you are searching for?
All of my search was unconscious. I did not know I was searching. I did not know what I was searching for.
My dad and my church thought in a rational scientific way. Their world view became mine. There were no miracles because science requires consistency of the material universe. Science looke for those constancies called laws. How can there be laws if God can intervene and break those laws. Everything had to be consistent, orderly, lawful. Therefore it follows there are no real miracles.
My rational mind - my conscious thinking self - tried to find what I needed within this worldview. Material is all there is. There is no spiritual reality. The universe is orderly and there are no miracles. I did not know what I needed but I was deeply upset, confused, anxious, depressed without knowing what those feelings were.
My main method of finding my way was learning and complying. I attended to what was expected at home and at school. I learned the right answers at school and tried to be good at home and with people. I coloured within the lines and tried to memorize the stuff they taught at school. Nothing inspired me. I did not try to be creative. I tried to think within the box I was given. I was, of course dull and boring and predictable, bored and depressed without knowing what these feelings were.
How do I know that I was searching for something, looking for something more? Well for one thing I persisted to stay involved in church when other teens were off about other things. I had the courage to ask the minister of our church if there was a heaven. His answer did not carry much conviction but at least I asked.
I wanted to own a Bible and with my mother we sought advice as to a good version to use - I think it was the Revised Standard - and I had my first Bible.
My dad had a study book from his university years and studies with the Student Christian Movement at Western University in London, Ontario. It was a study of the teachings of Jesus. There were study question. It was hard to understand but I spent many a day working through this book and trying to understand Jesus' parables and so on.
This was my teens. I was in high school. Other students were not spending their evenings breaking their brains trying to understand biblical parables. So that is another clue of a deep inner drive in me to find something.
Is the sun set I would go to a place where I could view the sunset and enjoy the beauty of it. One lonely teen quietly watching the sunset and enjoying it. I was draw to it, i knew not why. My conscious mind did not label it anything. But my spirit would sometimes add a communion song to the moment - a song about breaking bread on our knees with our eyes to the setting sun. My spirit was searching for life, love and light.
The whole search was intuitive, without words. My spirit knew better than my head. A drive was there = a strong drive to explore frontiers beyond the material world. My mind was not consulted. My mind would not have agreed. My search was below or beyond my mind's knowing. My spirit knew what it needed. I did not. My spirit was fierce about it. It sought and kept on seeking, it knocked and kept on knocking. It needed something more than what I was consciously pursuing.
The search persisted for many years beyond my teens and through my twenties. Nothing satisfied my soul so the search continued. The search without a name, without words, beyond conscious recognition did not stop until my soul was satisfied, my spirit found a place to rest. My spirit had a goal (unstated) an objective (not put in words) and never stopped until that goal was reached. Anything that did not meet that high standard was rejected. My spirit did not seem willing to settle for anything less than the life, love and miracles I read about in the Bible.
Read more: My Inner Rebel
It was like I lived in a fog when I was young. That is how weak my sense of self was. A strong inner force worked below the surface. It tried to connect with God for the love and life I so much needed. See: