Friday, February 1, 2008

What do you bring to the counseling relationship?

I believe in you, for you, until you can believe it yourself. That is what I bring to a therapeutic relationship. My job is to work myself right out of a job, to help you dismantle the wall of denial/self-doubt/self-destructive behavior brick by brick until there you are. A person who seeks help needs to be taught to find, respect, and ultimately cherish their own gifts and strengths, to recognize the dysfunctional dynamics they live by and to move into a new way of life.

My family is a case study in dysfunction. Interestingly, substance abuse was not a factor in the dysfunction while I was a child, but has manifested in this generation. If there is an abuse that I didn’t suffer (along with my siblings), I have yet to discover it. Verbal, emotional, spiritual, physical, sexual, --name one and I’ll tell you a personal story. I have been in the darkest pit of fear and despair and done immensely destructive things to deal with the pain—addictive eating, blaming, self-mutilation, raging—the only reason I didn’t off myself is that I didn’t want to miss my girls growing up.

But that isn’t the most important part of the story—the most important part is that the story isn’t over yet. I am not defined by my abuse, nor am I defined by my “survivorship.”

My identity is first my name: Alice Katherine, which means “Truth” and “Purity.” Cool, huh? And it flows from there: the pure truth is I am intuitive, perceptive, tender-hearted, called to minister, a fallen human being who is determined to find the joy in this fallen world and to share it. We all, every one of us, were born innocent and deserve to be that again—fresh and new, ready to face the world with a foundation of love and acceptance—that is what I can provide: the hope realized that we do not have to be a prisoner to our past. That path, that door to a new life is to be discovered by each person in her own journey.


Kansas Bob February 2, 2008 at 8:55 AM  

This is spectacular:

"I am not defined by my abuse, nor am I defined by my survivorship"

The real battle is all about our identity. Life changed for me (and still is changing) when I stopped being identified by what I did.

Heidi Renee February 2, 2008 at 12:10 PM  

sounds like you're having your own epiphanies there yourself lady! :)

My name means "Noble One Reborn" - I had never connected them before like you did here...

I have never liked my first name - only relishing the "reborn" of my middle name - but linked together they are beautiful. Just like this post Alice - just beautiful, like you.

Norm February 3, 2008 at 11:40 PM  

Once I'd laid the foundation I almost made the mistake of being satisfied with the resulting changes. Then a carpenter friend reminded me that I'd made only a beginning; 'what did I want the structure to look like when the quest was finally over?' Shack or mansion?
It's important to have the goal in mind even if it seems unattainable.

We are so much what we think, feel, percieve and believe....and so, we need to monitor those things and make the necessary adjustments when they don't fit with where we know they ought to be.

...and 'faith works'; 'faith without works is dead'. Prayer is an 'action' word.

Good post.

Patchouli February 5, 2008 at 4:46 AM  

Thanks for the feedback--lots to think about!

My instructor gives us two questions every week--so every week, I have a choice to dig deep or skate along the surface of my experience.

Kel February 6, 2008 at 12:57 AM  

Nice to meet you Alice ;-)

Norm February 7, 2008 at 11:53 PM  

On the lighter side.... and to have some fun with names....go here....


Norm February 8, 2008 at 12:01 AM  

Part 2 - address was cut off and in addition should read:


Now, enjoy.

trace February 21, 2008 at 5:51 PM  

thanks for bringing truth and purity to all of us, alice katherine.

my philosophy as a business coach is similar: I am most successful as a coach when I become completely invisible

ps: I am Tracie Ann. they mean "warlike" and "favored grace." go figure.

Patchouli February 22, 2008 at 4:11 PM  

Our names MEAN something, don't they! I see every one of you differently--bright, noble, reborn, warlike, strength, from the top of the world---isn't this fun? Do you see yourself differently?

much2ponder March 8, 2008 at 8:23 AM  

There is something innately good about you. I enjoyed reading this post. It has many similarities to my own life. Thanks for your honesty and the confirmation that we are more than a lump sum of our experiences.

Hope April 11, 2008 at 12:27 PM  

This was perfect reading for me today. Thank you.

Patchouli April 20, 2008 at 5:04 PM  

Thank YOU, all of you.

Mark D February 16, 2009 at 4:45 PM  

Awesome, awesome post!!! :)

Ditto to what Kansas Bob wrote. That guy rocks.