Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 9, 2010

September 9, 2010
In class today we talked about the experience of our class so far, related to beginning your in-class counseling experience. I don't know if you realized or not, but I was actually eliciting your cognitions about what your experience had been so far so I could evaluate how the class was helping you, and what we might do that would be more effective. This is typical for the cognitive approach. It is very collabrative.
I love how cognitive therapy is collaborative. And it reminds me how God (even though He has all the answers and all the power to do whatever He wants) is collaborative with us. He often reveals truth to us, then allows us to work to experience how that will look or to discover how we can apply His truth and begin to practice it. Of course He gives us some guidelines to help us, but He waits patiently for us to discover His ways. I can think of many of the Heroes of the Bible, alike Abraham...God revealed the promise of the coming son, but Abraham had to go through God's school of character development before God completed the promise. Joseph experienced the same thing...learning about God's vision for him related to the future, yet had to be prepared (humbled) before he was ready for his God-given task. I'm sure you could think of other biblical examples that show how God works collaboratively through us and even in spite of us!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cognitive by the "Book"

Aug 31, 2010
Cognitive therapy…someone asked in class today (Cognitive Behavioral Marriage and Family Therapy) how long it takes to do the assessments, and counseling. I responded that often what is presented in the “Book” isn’t always exactly how it works out, but the important thing is to accomplish the assessment that one needs to truly help the client.

Often therapy models don’t exactly work the way they are presented in the book. I think one of the reasons is because we are so complex, and there is never just one “thing” that needs to be worked on. In assessment, clients frequently start with one problem…perhaps the most pressing one, or it may be the one they feel the most comfortable telling you about, but eventually other problems begin to come out.

Another “not by the book” experience you will have is that you can’t always resolve the issues in 8-20 sessions. It would be nice, but the change in neural pathways that needs to take place is a gradual change, not one that happens in an “instant.” For me to begin to think differently, I have to repetitively choose to think differently than my past manner of thinking (“do not be conformed to the patterns of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Rom 12:2). Little bit by little bit that new neural pathway is formed, and becomes stronger and stronger as that new thought pattern (neural pathway) is covered with the myelin sheath. Change rarely occurs in leaps and bounds…usually step by step…even baby steps, but that is the way God made us!