The Course Week 3

So after two weeks of the course and working our socks off we deserved … a week off for half term!

Anyway back to the grindstone last night and now we are set in for the real work to begin up until Christmas.

One of the recommended texts for the course is Gerard Egan’s Skilled Helper. I bought a copy as it was expensive but not ludicrously so but I bought the latest edition which is several versions on from that recommend for the course. Therefore there’s a few subtle differences esp with the latest research he quotes but the latest version is actually somewhat cheaper than the old text goes for on eBay. The silliness of recommended texts I suppose.

I like his model that in it’s simplest form has 3 “stages” :-
1. What is the current picture? – i.e. what is going on now.
2. What is the preferred picture? – i.e. where do you want to get to
3. Action strategies – i.e. the plan to move from current to preferred

All this is under pinned by “How do I make it all happen?”

There’s various different flavours of this out there with different names for the stages etc. but that is the general idea.

Interestingly the course tutor takes exception to Stage 3. They feel there is no direct need to be driven by goal setting and slavishly adhering to models and targets. I get the point but still feel that it is a good model for anyone trying to move on.

I reflected on this in two ways for myself.

Firstly – when I stopped drinking.

Current Picture – Hate drinking! Can’t stop once started. It is controlling me and my life and ruining it and ruining others lives around me.

Preferred Picture – here it is interesting. At first I’ll be honest my preferred picture was “I want to drink normally”. However soon due to the action strategy I adopted that moved to “I need to not drink at all” based on almost instant understanding of “the first drink does the damage”. I.e. if you keep ending up drunk and can’t stop at 1 or 2 drinks then stop at 0 that way the 3rd or 4th or 5th or 19th stop being the issue.

Action Strategies – I went to see an Occupational Nurse I trusted. She offered a couple of options, she heavily hinted that residential rehab was the option she thought the best and most likely to succeed. I took that option so off to Rehab… then to AA… etc.

Under that in the early moments the “how do I make this all work?” bit changed as I say, when I visited the nurse the rehab was not in my mind at all. Once at rehab suddenly 12 steps and AA were there. Then leaving rehab there was day programme aftercare and AA etc. It just kept on moving forward. It still does – see my last post on my questioning on where I ought to be or not via AA.

Secondly and very relevant is to the course itself.

Current Picture – Very naive, no skills training, limited understanding of role and challenges
Preferred Picture – want to learn about being a counsellor with a view to career change.
Action Strategies – do the course. Learn new skills, identify skills/talents I already have I can improve etc. Look for opportunities to apply in new settings

It has been years really since I’ve had to learn completely new stuff. Ok I’ve done new stuff in my career but as you get longer in the tooth etc. most of it is stuff you already know that you just see as being re-badged, labelled etc. Here I’m off into totally new areas and it is daunting and a bit scary but also hugely fulfilling when I learn new stuff like this and see it’s value and use. Of course now my head is saying… “Why didn’t I do this years ago?”… never bloody satisfied my head you know… never 🙂

About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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3 Responses to The Course Week 3

  1. I have never been a goal-oriented individual and my life has suffered for it. I often wonder how far I could have gotten if I had set my sights on a specific pinpoint instead of just going wherever the wind blew me. Stage 3 is valuable.

    Nice pic below. What’s with this regret nonsense? You were 19! If you had been the type to stand and pose properly, she probably never would have married you.

  2. So am I understanding this right, that your teacher I saying there doesn’t need to be any plan of action in place? How the heck change change be made without concrete steps? The plan doesn’t have to be rigid — but one could waffle around forever editing for things to get better — because it will happen on it’s own? This makes no sense to me, but maybe I’m misunderstanding?

    • furtheron says:

      I don’t think it is quite as simple as that. I think the point is that like “Observer Effect” in Physics. i.e. the mere fact that you decide to measure something intrinsically alters the state of the system you are measuring so you alter the environment through the measurement. Therefore I think the issue is the tutors belief that often you don’t want a rigorous measurement based action plan as that will alter the situation. So just through gaining knowledge will produce the therapeutic change in the subject rather than a detailed measurement orientated action plan. I think that is the point but I need to learn more obviously.

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