- Getting in touch critically with one’s feelings, emotions, beliefs, perceptions, motives, etc.
- Realizing what has shaped, determined, or effected one’s present emotional disturbances or psychological problems.
- Recognizing one’s personality-type, temperament, etc., and how these determine the peculiarity of one’s behavioural responses or reactions, and why one is affected in certain ways by particular external forces and environmental influences.
- Self Expression: The counselee must be guided to reveal inner conflicts and personal hurts, and dissipate negative feelings and emotions, through talking, writing, etc. Self-expression helps clarify, identify, and organize one’s feelings, beliefs, and perceptions, thereby dispelling confusion. The counselee is enabled to objectify his or her personal state and situation by viewing matters less subjectively. The counselee must clearly realize the dynamics and forces which have shaped him, as well as those currently affecting him.
- Self-honesty: The counselee must squarely face up to who he or she really is and what really are the issues of struggle or uneasiness. Being honest with one’s self creates a context of realism. One is forced to deal directly and courageously with one’s true feelings, disappointments, loss, and pain.
- Self-realization: The counselee must come to truly and feelingly perceive and appreciate the dynamics androot(s) of his or her personal struggle. The experience is necessary is order to ‘let go’ of the pain or hurt. The acquisition of self-insight is liberating. The rehearsing of the various aspects of one’s history and struggle may be in order before ‘the light goes on’.
- Letting go of one’s hurts, regrets, anger, loss, disappointments, etc.
- Correcting one’s false or irrational beliefs, perceptions, interpretations, etc.
- Being inspired to independent and responsible behaviour.
- Self-catharsis: The counselee must be guided in the releasing or ventilating of (pent-up) anger, hurt, bitterness, hostility, etc. through journaling, writing (unsent) letters, acting out, addressing imaginary people, listing regrets and forgiving, etc. This emotive cleansing should be initiatory for the healing process.
- Self-belief/acceptance: The counselee must be encouraged and taught to believe in his or her value and worth as a person. Self-confidence is foundational for a sense of empowerment and is required to achieve the proper disposition for the healing process. The acceptance of, or belief in, self creates a context of hope or optimism which naturally feeds the healing process.
- Self-responsibility: The counselee must take the initiative and assume the responsibility for his or he own life and healing, if significant change is to occur. The counselee must clearly realize that the counselor is not responsible for his or her healing. The counselor gives direction or instruction, but the crucial matter is what the counselee does with that direction or instruction. The counselee must realize that it is not the counselor who will magically heal, but that healing will take time, and is often painful, and that much of the success rests upon the shoulders of him or her. The counselee’s attitude is critical to the healing process. As long as the counselee entertains a victimized or “woe is me” attitude, which perpetuates a dependency dynamic, significant healing will not ensue. A sense of responsibility for helping one’s self promotes personal dignity and an attitude of healthy independence.
- Self-instruction: The counselee must be open to, and acceptingly receive, the teaching and direction of the counselor concerning the acquisition of new patterns and proper ways of thinking which will help him or her to more healthily interpret and understand his or her world. The counselee must learn to correct his faulty way of viewing himself, his relationships, and his environment. He or she must erase old ‘mental tapes’, replacing them with new productive ones. The counselor can teach and direct, but the counselee must assume the responsibility to appropriate and apply.
- Self-resolve: The counselee must realize that “enough is enough” and deliberately and courageously choose to do something seriously and positively about his or her “problem.” There must be clearly evidenced the will to be healed. The counselee must make a self-conscious effort to do the right thing (though this may be particularly difficult if the counselee is depressed or suicidal, and in this case patient encouragement is required). A system of accountability may be necessary.
- Self-action: The counselee must actually put the new ways of thinking and the particular items of resolve into practice. The counselee must prosecute his or her newly acquired perceptions, beliefs etc. in concrete and measurable/monitored behaviours.
N.B. Perhaps the essential key to the success and viability of the healing process is an obvious and demonstrable personal interest, involvement, and care by the counselor. This realization obviously strengthens and deepens the trust factor.