I’ve been meaning to share an update on how my course has been going. In summary – Well. I felt I feel a little bit behind on the work around / after Christmas which I think was an outcome from my illness where I just let a few things drift a bit and I couldn’t get myself back on track quick enough for my perfectionist liking. However recently with a one week mid Christmas to Easter break and a kick up my bum from me and the course tutor I’ve turned that around and caught up on the written assignments, got a case study presentation completed and feel a bit more on top of the reading too.
There is so much to read frankly. The core theoretical approach in the course I’m doing it Carl Rogers’ Person Centred theory. That alone allows enough reading material from Carl Rogers’ original papers in the 50s, which frankly do have all the fundamentals you need, through his more expansive writings up to modern day research by the likes of Brian Thorne and David Mears who’s work looking at “configurations” within the self-concept I particularly resonate with. However our course also takes in Attachment Theory, Gestalt Theory and Practice and recently Psychosynthesis too. So that gives you a plethora of recommended books and plenty of papers and other books to plough through.
I’ve enjoyed my recent looking at Attachment Theory which I’ll be honest is one theory I’ve found tricky to stick in my head. Having a daughter studying Psychology has been a total boon as I mentioned to her that I struggled with some of the applying it to adult relationships and attachments and she instantly quoted a paper from the mid 1980s I’ve found most helpful.
The other area I’m really enjoying looking into is Psychosynthesis. Psychosynthesis has its roots back in Freud’s psychodynamic models but Roberto Assagioli, who is the recognised founder of this school, was insistent on including an element that was aligned with the spiritual driver with people’s psyche – a “soul” if you like. Freud would have completely rejected this, as would the behaviourists, even Carl Rogers viewed the Actualising Tendency which was his ultimate driving force for humans wishing to improve themselves as purely an organismic trait – i.e. a biological driver. Assagioli determined to include the spiritual in his models. For me this is startling, today increasingly the open discussion and debate around soul etc. is downplayed, even ridiculed in our science based and directed world. Don’t get me wrong I like to see hard, experimental evidence as much as any scientist however I do feel we miss something by ignoring the connectedness to all beings and things through some defining force. I look at how people can come through appalling hardship still with a sense of love for others, even their foes as profoundly unexplainable at times without there being some “higher purpose” within us.
Enough of the disappearing up the wazzoo in spiritual nonsense though, one practical thing I need to get is a placement sorted out so I can begin to accumulate the 100 hours of practical counselling work I must complete before I can be awarded the diploma. I’ve had one really profitable conversation and a formal application has been sent off. Fingers crossed.