Thursday, June 28, 2007

Counseling: Is it possible to be Switzerland?

So if you are new to my blog, I am required for my M.A. in counseling degree to see a counselor during the time I am in school. Which is totally smart! I kindof like the self care (sometimes selfish feeling) of talking to someone about me who is skilled at it anyway so there's no argument from me.

One huge change however is that I've switched counselors in the last six months from seeing a christian counselor who thinks, although attraction is a biological phenomenon, acting on attraction with someone of the same sex is sin. Now I see a woman who specializes in working with people who are LGBT.

Last night I was talking to "e" who I'm still totally enjoying hanging out with. She said something about how now when I'm talking with "h" and "c" (see last two days of posts) I have a perspective on counseling to share because of the type of counseling I've already done. Tis true.

That family has all gone to family counseling with someone who works in the same office as my old counselor. She is a family counselor. They have found it helpful. Although they haven't asked me, if they did I would recommend someone else. Timing in sharing these things with the parents seems tricky. They are still so raw. There is a conversation starting in my head though. I am just starting to think things like "how does one counsel such a family? How would I?" Is how I am interacting with them ok? I am going to need to tell the parents that I am gay soon.

My biggest question as far as counseling is "Is it possible to be a Switzerland in all of this?" It seems people gravitate towards counselors who share their view. That's normal. How one thinks on this issue totally impacts how one counsels even if you never tell your client. Projection and transference are powerful, is it really possible to keep your real views from your client? There's a blogger "Warren Throckmorton" who is a researcher and a counselor (I think) who some people say is the "Switzerland" on this counseling and this issue. He does have some switzerland-ish tenancies that I appreciate. However I don't know if being Switzerland is any help either. What about the clients who come in and want to change. That's their goal?

My counselor in spite of his views never ever had the goal of changing me. He was just my counselor. But for those who are repairative therapists or repairative ministries there is some hopeful news on the horizon. Some of them have officially apologized! Read about it here.

I am finding that thinking through this stuff and experiencing more than one type of counselor has done more to shape how I counsel than a lot of my schooling. I hope that I can continue to keep the good from my old counselor and the good from my new one, as different as they are, and use that to form the type of counselor I become, uniquely as me.

And I did strongly recommend that "h" find someone when she gets to school.

No comments: