Reflections on the Helper Role

December 13, 2017 CLBAZEMORE No comments exist

When our minds are attuned to God’s love, our heart will also be lifted up and will be able to do our work freely. This is what we would call the high call. Many souls live in the world without ever thinking of their life path. Some have no seemly plan, nor drive to move out in life and do good works. In our next series of blog I would like to give or share some light on how each one of us is the key for a great work for ourselves and other. I would like to give you several lenses of great people that can enhance the way for life’s calling. Moreover, You and I could in our part of our sending out to the world of hope to all who will read and share this blog with others.

Carl Roger is one of the great people who raised the bar in person-centered therapy. This new theory opens the door for many pastors, teacher, therapist, social worker, spiritual Directors and many more. In our seminary when student are ready for how to meet people in a pastoral setting to share thoughts they are grounded in “deep listening”, slow on giving advise and can really understand, Carl Roger’s belief, “ that people are primarily as conscious and rational beings ruled by the conscious perception of their own selves and their experiential world.” Several glossary words you may want to look up that are helpful with this theory of Dr. Roger: conditions of worth, Incongruence, organismic valuing process, person-centered (client-centered) therapy, positive regard, positive self-regard, Q-sort, unconditional positive regard. You will find value in looking up these concepts and using these great concepts.

I would like to share an interview I had with a friend who love working with people, however my friend at the time in his life was not supported to keep going in the field. This happen to so many people due to not having support, mentor or Director, that could have given the helper life to keep going. As many of you know good, good people leave the field or a career path not only due to being burn out, but lack of support.

Another theory, which I will blog on later, is Alfred Adler (1870-1937), in his concept of “ Encouragement”.  In my interview in September 22, 1986,I interview my friend who I had been studying with for 7year prior his career change. My friend had come to Washington D.C. for a new worship -leadership, pastoral direction from than an up and coming people church. This young man was ready to take up serious change in his pastoral participation. No longer being a pastor but deepening his spiritual search, I at the time was changing my life work due to many battles of church politic and the voice that said it time to move on. I will share those thoughts at a later time.

Here today we celebrate my friend, in what would have been his birthday session. He was born Dec.1, many years ago.  Here are three questions that I am asking my friend in his way of being present to a client.   (Two will come later in another blog.)

1. How directive or non directive are (were) you in your work with clients?

Depending on the circumstances of the client’s needs and his/her progression in the counseling process, I would use both the directive and non-directive approaches. When I sensed the client was manipulating, avoiding, resisting, etc., I would be direct in calling their attention to such things. When I sense they were really working on the issues and feelings for which they had contracted to work, I was usually non-directive and listening intently (not passively). I do not equate non-Direction with passivity.

2. How much of yourself do you voluntarily give to your clients?

The amount of myself which I give to the my client depends upon whether or not I sense the client is trying to actively work on his or her own material, or whether he/she is trying to avoid that and focus on my being (stuff). If the formal, and I feel he /she needs support, i.e., to know somebody else has been there or had similar feelings, I will share appropriate material about myself. If the latter, I will call them on that (directive approach above), and endeavor to help them move back to their own agenda.

3. To what degree do you address your client’s behavior?  To what degree do you address your client’s feelings?  Both behavior and feelings give indications as to the progress or lack thereof the client is making in his/her therapy and more importantly in his/her daily living.  Both behaviors the client talks about in his/her day-to-day living situation, and the behavior they exhibit in the counseling session are extremely important, and give strong clues as to what the client is feeling.  Similarly, both the feelings the client talks about in their day to day living situation and the feelings they exhibit in the counseling session are very important to deal with, especially the feelings exhibited in the counseling session, because they are the real ones in the existential situation of the counseling selling.

Behaviors and feelings exhibited in the counseling need to be dealt with realistically and relate to what the client says he/she has been doing/feeling in his/her day to day living and they help the client see how they relate or, as we sometimes say today, how they compute.  

What goes on in the session hopefully is what goes on in the daily living process.


 By Rev. Dr. Christopher L. Bazemore

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