The Humanistic Approach to Counselling and Attraction to Hurt
Emphasis within the Humanistic Approach to counselling is on personal and professional change and development. We know that some people seem to be further along than perhaps we are and others less so.
We should not be put off by this. The aim is to keep on our own path of self fulfillment and development, being the best we can possibly be in our lives, the most evolved we can be.
We should see ourselves as first and foremost healthy, strong and capable not first ill, weak and inadequate. To focus on problems before strength is not validating and it is not effective. We are working towards personal development and change. The most effective way of achieving this is by working with and focusing on the positive in the counselling room. The American novelist William Faulkner, A great influence on CT said first and foremost human beings endure. It is not that problems are being denied they are just not the first stage in working with people in CT and therapy.
Often people are unaware that their past is dictating their present, their everyday lives. This can often become an increasing problem as we get older, the same things cropping up and getting in the way. This can lead to attraction to hurt, when past ways of coping and surviving may still be used although these strategies may now be no longer useful or even damaging. “These self-protective devices may have outgrown their usefulness. Sometimes, the things we do to protect ourselves turn on us and hurt us.” (Codependency No More by Melody Beattie)
We can hold ourselves back in terms of our own emotional well being and quality of life and also what we have to offer others when we hold onto old patterns of behaviour.
Nicky Mark / ‘Attraction to Hurt’ © Peter Fleming, Pellin Institute