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[Freeing the Mind][Self Development Contents]

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Ken Ward's Astrology Pages

Astrology: Counselling and Therapy.

clear.gif (807 bytes) I believe that there is a difference between counselling and therapy. To my mind, counselling is perfect listening without considerations or evaluations. The counsellor provides the "empty mind" which enables the person to communicate and know they are listened to perfectly. Another name for the "empty mind" is the "clear mind".

What is written here is fairly standard, and most counsellors would agree with it. The astrologer, however, will be aware that it is extremely biased. This style of counselling exists as one dependant on the element air. Astrologers know that there are more elements than simply air. So what is written on this page is only part of the story. The story continues on other pages. 

The end states in our minds, such as avoidance, anger, crying, etc are preceded by other mental activities of which we are normally unaware. So we perform some inappropriate action or enter a state wherein we avoid being aware of what is happening in our minds.

The purpose of counselling is to enable the other person to be reflective (which is only one desirable state). We say, do, think, etc without listening to what we do, think, etc. When we are reflective we replay the sequence of thinking, etc and observe it. We note from where it originates and to where it goes.

It is difficult to do this at first because the mind's power may be too great. A counsellor can reflect and bring the origin, movement and ending of the mental activity into the awareness of the person.

While listening perfectly, without considerations, evaluations, approval, disapproval, invalidation, suppression, etc, the counsellor teaches the person to understand how mental states, thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc arise in the mind and how they change things and how they disappear.

Of course, when a person learns to observe their mind without flinching too much, they can do all this themselves. When we observe how certain things arise, manifest, disappear, etc, then we automatically stop thinking in this manner when the process is clearly seen as irrational. Where an activity in the mind results in some "passion", then the thinker rewinds the thought process so they can (after many tries, sometimes) observe the process perfectly.

The process of reflecting involves "replaying", observation, finding earlier origins, and doing this with an "empty" mind. Of course, this is the method used, or claimed to be used Buddhists, "counsellors", and a multitude of others, yet it is rarely seen. The Buddhists call it "mindfulness".

Just a note ... thoughts, etc, are not the thinker, so the reference to the "empty" mind is not wholly contradictory. It is an attitude without evaluation, invalidation, reassurance, encouragement, etc (this list changes everytime I write it because is circles a basic concept of, well: emptiness, openness, non-polarizing, etc.

Example:

Person: Tells of experience in concentration camp. Counsellor: (Shaking his head) I just can't understand how people could behave in that outrageous way.

Person: Tells of experience in concentration camp. Better Counsellor: (reflects and shows understanding, without evaluation, etc) I notice you are looking down to your right. I wonder what is going through your mind at this moment.

Therapy, on the other hand, it an opposite to "counselling". The therapist does evaluate, and may even diagnose the other person and uses special questions and questions to attempt to cure the other person. Of course, what is said of therapy is also true of self-therapy. I believe it is important to know the difference between therapy and counselling, and, of course, therapy is an important activity. Therapy should not override counselling, or, specifically mindfulness.

The differences between counselling and therapy tend to blur in practice. Any question, change in facial expression, bodily movement ... influences the client and to some degree directs them to think of things other than those which are simply the result of their thinking process. The important point is to know the difference between counselling and therapy and use each as is thought appropriate.

One purpose of reflecting is to bring into awareness the "lies" that maintain the undesirable and desirable mental states within the mind. When a client truly listens to what they are saying, they can reflect on this and accept or dismiss the thoughts. By reflecting what the client says, the counsellor helps the client to reflect in this manner.

Sometimes it is the meaning we attribute to mental "objects" that causes them to persist or to be a problem.

Reflecting also involves becoming aware of the meanings we attribute during the thinking process.

Ideally counselling is a self-process, but in practice many people need help initially to become aware of their thinking and to be able to observe certain mental processes (such as traumatic ones).