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  • Writer's pictureSarah Larkin

What do you advise?

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

The ultimate goal of counselling, Kunkel says, is to become a more mature and creative personality. There are many trials and resistences to this as the client wants just to end their suffering. They come with an issue that causes them to suffer, and so the exploration begins - gathering facts to gain an understanding of what may be behind the issue. But the counsellor should hold off interpreting the facts until a pattern emerges. Mr X thinks he gets headaches because of overwork, Kunkel believes he gets headaches so he does not have to do the work he dislikes. That space needs to be held and it is not easy between the two. The counsellor knows what the client does not yet, and perhaps will not accept. Mr X wants his symtoms removed, Kunkel wants more maturity and creativity for him. Our crises drive us towards radical wholeness, not merely the elimination of our symtoms.

Understanding is important but not the ultimate answer. "Perception marks an important progress; but to overcome the influence of one's behaviour styles and to replace them by more adequate patterns or by patternless creative freedom is a development that cannot be achieved by mere intellectual insight. Real growth, new responsibility, and creative power are needed."

"We all have to replace prejudices by wisdom, ridgid patterns by free decisions and habitual reactions by creative growth. The symtoms and complaints of the client are only the stimuli which force him to go ahead. Without his suffering he could stick to his old patterns ... but thanks to our conflicts, and our suffering, we are all forced to grow up whether we like it or not." (From What do you advise? P19)

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