Within our heart lives the spark of divinity, the essence of our Being.
This inner reality is the source of positive energy, knows truth and is love.
To hold a connection with this place is life’s challenge.
~ Deni Weber ~

What is the philosophy underlying the Counseling profession?

All mental health professionals, including counselors, engage in the process of assessing a person’s mental health needs, developing a plan of treatment and providing mental health services needed. Historically, mental health professionals were trained to address mental and emotional problems utilizing the medical model, that is, viewing mental and emotional issues as illness. This perspective assumes the client is diminished in some way and seeks ways to fix the pathology. This approach places emphasis on what’s wrong rather than on what’s right. Counselors, on the other hand, have a different belief system regarding ways to help people with their mental health concerns.

The following is the philosophy underlying the counseling profession:

  • • Counselors have adopted the wellness model of mental health as their perspective. This approach emphasizes people maximizing their potential with the goal being the achievement of positive mental health to the best degree possible.
  • • Counselors believe that many mental health issues can be understood within a developmental perspective. Rather than being pathological, life’s problems are normal and natural when seen through the perspective of human growth and development.
  • • Counselors believe that prevention and early intervention are superior to waiting until a problem has reached serious levels and require remediation. By providing services when one begins to experience distressing life events can help to prevent problems from escalating.
  • • The primary goal of counseling is to empower clients to problem-solve on their own and to communicate the belief that clients are capable of developing the skills needed for wellness and independent living.

Humanistic based counseling believes that our true nature lies beyond our thoughts, desires, and actions and that every person enjoys giving and receiving from the heart. Rather than diagnosing, counseling views individuals at various places on the spectrum of human growth and development in terms of psychological and spiritual growth. Carl Rogers, frames how counseling can heal when he says, “when someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without taking responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good…When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to reperceive my world in a new way and go on”.

Why Seek Counseling?

green plant
Counseling is for everyone, not only those with severe mental and emotional disorders. Each and every one of us face obstacles to our personal growth. We all suffer from our basic human needs not being met, such as the need to be understood and seen, trusted and supported, appreciated and loved. Instead we are often misunderstood, met with judgments and demands, seen as good or bad, right or wrong or simply not enough. Through traumatic life experiences we form core beliefs that may be negative and self-limiting. We may dream of composing a symphony, finding true love or maybe impacting social change, but something happens and no matter how hard we try we keep hitting up against the same wall – the habitual patterns of our body and mind. Even though these obstacles provide us with the needed challenges to grow and tap into our inner potential, they sometimes appear so great that they overwhelm us.

Anxiety, depression, addiction, phobias and panic attacks are some of those disturbing obstacles. Perhaps we have a history of trauma or are plagued by fears and rage, troubled with distorted thinking and negative beliefs which are the kinds of things that keep us trapped and unable to live life fully. Maybe we seek to find meaning and purpose in life or a greater connection to our self and others. These are the times we can choose to reach out for guidance, support, and someone who can listen. Partnering with a counselor can bring awareness to the mental and emotional adaptations or protections that are no longer needed and help to uncover things that lie hidden in the unconscious in a gentle and mindful way. The resolution that counseling work brings is like receiving mental, emotional and spiritual nourishment. You may find yourself available to things you were once shut down to. In addition, you may find access to your hidden potential and the ability to love more fully. All the answers and solutions lie within you. Change is a choice that only you can make.