My general reflective statements are my general views on counseling and education. In academic and professional workplace environments, I view an employee or student from this focus: In our daily human environments, we are always learning. However, it can be difficult to distinguish at any time between good and bad by any human being. I believe in helping others through the good and the bad.
University of Nebraska, Kearney-2010
Personal Philosophy of Counseling and Education
Human Nature View
I view human nature as basically good while each human being exists on an individual continuum to understand the good of their self and others. At times, any individual becomes unaware of their self. There may be times when an individual does not perceive or cannot understand their state of goodness. At that time, an individual seeks clarification, reminding or remembering from another human being to understand the individual process of self-awareness.
Counseling is a professional communicative process between usually two individual human beings that promotes understanding of the self-actualization process during a private relationship of a specific time period. Counseling is an experiential, primarily verbal focusing process to interpret, comprehend and understand individual experiences. Counseling is performed with a licensed and trained professional, that is acknowledged by an exchange of money, or negotiable goods from the client to the counselor.
Any counseling goals need to be focused as the primary experience to benefit the client. Any benefit to the counselor, other than money, is a secondary experience. Goals can be short-term or long-term. Goals can vary from non-specific to explicitly specific. Inappropriate goals can include any goals that do not benefit the client. Inappropriate goals are not defined, nor identified as goals by the client. Inappropriate goals are defined from specific state, national, or international laws, and codes of practice as distinguished by the American Counseling Association or other organization that credentials the counselor. Crossing of boundaries and inappropriate goals can be a real issue that determines good ethical principles as a professional.
Counselor’s Most Important Functions
The counselor functions, most importantly, by playing an intermediary brief role to interrupt the experiential process of self-understanding by the client. The counselor contributes new information for the client to include as new personal perception, examination, and interpretation of experiential reality. This explanation of the most important function of the counselor is my initial attempt to begin to personally explain and apply some intriguing thoughts as presented by Dr. Yozan Dirk Mosig in his article, “Conceptions of the Self in Western and Eastern Psychology.” I expect my own role, as a counselor, to function from my interpretative linguistic relationship with the client that interrupts the client’s isolated, perceptual experience of reality. I am presently evaluating a professional counselor approach from the following statements by Dr. Mosig:
Reification is the process by which the mind makes a thing (res) or a material objectout of a concept or an abstraction…Reifications are little more than delusions, and refer to momentary states remembered from the past experience of the person (whose conceptof himself or herself as a separate individual is itself a reification). People constantly act,behave, and live out their lives as if reifications were actually real, separate entities,rather than the delusory constructions of the mind. (Mosig, 2006, p. 41). Dr. Mosig mentions the possibility of integrating Western and Eastern approaches to prepare the individual to transcend the isolation of the separate self by individual realization of the universal inter-connectedness as a gateway to compassion and wisdom (Mosig, 2006, p. 48). I am presently working to define my role to contribute in some way to further understanding in this integrative process. My understanding of these types of concepts, facts and his ideas is only at an initial developmental awareness to work towards a professional counseling application.
Effective Relationship Characteristics
The essential characteristic that defines an effective therapeutic relationship is the client’s increasing freedom from unnecessary psychological suffering. I think that my establishing a therapeutic relationship needs to always increase freedom in some way for the client’s life.
Degree of Therapist Excellence
The degree of excellence of the therapist is determined by the peace within the therapist to be genuine enough to promote inner peace in the client, beyond the “I-thou” relationship to awareness of non-duality and universal compassion (Mosig, 1989, p. 35). Distinguishing a mediocre from an outstanding therapist varies according to frame of reference, specific evaluative criterion, goals of the evaluative process, and reasons for the determination by the evaluator. A client may evaluate a therapist as outstanding. A medical insurance provider may evaluate the same therapist as mediocre, if therapy sessions are numerous and more costly per client. Peers may evaluate the therapist as providing inappropriate services to clients. A supervisor may determine a therapist to be mediocre or even incompetent as compared to other supervised therapists who use specific techniques.
Personal Main Values; Aspects of Ownership, Centrality
My main value is honesty and applying learned personal ethics from a basic principle of honesty in action. Living is a very transitory process. Understanding how to live within personal, and specific group defined limits establishes personal freedom to exist and enjoy living beyond mere survival. These limits are constantly changing, especially today because of varying experiential levels of micro and macro cultural influences. Much of my interpretation of value in living is based from my willingness to learn, as I was guided to learn from an early age. This initial subconscious patterning was a skill acquired from training by my mother. Later, other trained educators influenced me during my attendance in certain educational institutions. I was able to acquire further patterning to function actively and judged as performing adequately in my social interactions and individual goals. At my present age, as I review any common denominator for my secondary values, honesty-in-action is my most fundamental premise for operating or doing of my own volition. Any concept that I may be conscious of as derived from honesty, is not a self-defined or self-acquired concept. I understand honesty to be a learned concept that I have acquired as my application of my living activities from my impressions of thoughts communicated to me by knowledgeable adults. The style of communication has been from either physical verbal or behavioral messages and written words. The personal process of discrimination and evaluation during the communication process can be difficult, especially as applied to my own personal limits in defining honesty. Discrimination and evaluation of the reliability of the honest message from others has allowed me to develop a better understanding of right and wrong actions constantly redefining concepts of personal reality.
Beliefs About Social Change and Education
Technological change that is creating the new information age is causing old social, community infrastructures and systems that are based on centralization to become decentralized. This decentralization can allow for a lot of flexibility for individuals, families, new small businesses and new smaller community development. The economy is no longer based on slow major trends for large populations but smaller, and much quicker increments of change that affect diverse product manufacturing and consumer use, and communities. Decentralization is causing new educational systems to develop. Home schooling, and distance learning centers are education trends competing with out-dated school systems. There are new trends in health care, community safety issues, and transportation issues. All of our community systems are in a state of flux, also causing many individuals to scramble to find any employment, and new employment. Although the social change is exciting, there can still be challenging issues for any individual that can cause personal dilemmas while dealing with all these social changes.
There is also a major demographic trend of a higher percentage of aging national population so fewer people are actively employed, as compared to the percentage of young, employed population. This demographic difference can cause educational, social and economic problems for the general social community welfare. Young people, with limited resources, abilities, and work skills, may be supporting older people. Older people may be unsuccessful or not physically able to continue working to be self-supporting or support their own immediate families for longer time periods.
Effects on counseling practice
As a counselor, I can apply some of my understanding of change issues for therapeutic work with other individuals as affected by change dynamics to understand individual problematic episodes. I am optimistic about my ability to contribute to helping others as a counselor. Since I have been judged as not “fit” for this degree program, what I think as an asset is apparently a liability.
Two sentence from Kent Estes, Introduction to Counseling, are personally significant to my interpretive view of effects on counseling practices: “Becoming a helper is a time-consuming process…Since every helper is unique, there cannot be universal rules, regulations, or procedures required for such explorations”(Estes, 2010). I can try to adapt to the new social changes. I can only explore to discover where I “fit” in the community.
Good Life Definition
The good life is a balancing act. That sentence is the simplest way that I can attempt to approach prior explanation of the millions of thoughts generated from two words. Ancient writings to modern writings continuously examine perspectives of meaning of the “good life.” Each individual lives through episodes of individually changing perspectives of balancing actions. Judgment of “good” or “bad” are external to the living experience. As one individual communicates or acts with another, individualization from personal concepts from thought projections of the words “the good life” constantly changes individual life experience. Attempting to define “the good life” reveals the constant process of individual, mutual, and group realities, which never exist as a static reality. Even when life stops, it becomes something else: death. When using words to further define limits or boundaries for the words “life” and “death,” boundaries to the concepts for individual understandings of the words “absurd” to “real” reveal only change as being. This becomes a constant paradox, because I, and everyone else know that change is not being, and that the process of “the good life” defines “right” and “wrong,” and “good” and “bad.”
Correlation of Life Meaning to Helping
Meaning and purpose in my life is communicating with others. I enjoy all aspects of communicating, debating, understanding, and sharing ideas. Any person that feels a need, or is required by law to enter a counseling relationship gains a resulting change in their life journey or experience. By listening and talking with others, I am able to understand my life, and help others to understand more of the dimensions of their life journeys. The sharing of perspectives of the communicated understanding is the process to establish an initial therapeutic relationship with a client to interpret and change client’s life meanings.
Because of instinct to help myself and others, I am exploring intellectual development of my instinctual skills within a professional identity. During my life, I have become skilled at solving problems of many types. With formal training, I think I can develop specific communication skills to effectively help others solve personal problems. Counseling is primarily a communicative process which does not require extensive physical action. Because I need money to survive in my community, I am attempting to balance my personal financial needs and personal desires to contribute in my community by communicating effectively to help others solve personal problems. What I think I can do to help myself and others may not even be an effective or appropriate consideration.
During my life, I have dealt with issues and solved problems that are rooted in fear. I have gained a personal awareness in addressing issues of fear problems. Because so many personal struggles are conflicts from varying types of fear, I think I can relate with clients to minimize their interpretive experience of negative effects from those kinds of personal struggles.
Estes, K. (2010). Introduction to Counseling. Unpublished manuscript.
Mosig, Y. D. (1989). Wisdom and Compassion: What the Buddha taught a psycho-poetical analysis. Theoretical &Philosophical Psychology, 9(2), 27-36.
Mosig, Y. D. (2006). Conceptions of the self in western and eastern psychology . Journal of Theroretical and Philosophical Psychology, 26(1-2), 39-50.