Counselling in Muswell Hill and East Finchley - Rosemary Lodge Counselling

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Important questions
Trust your experience
The seven swords


Inspirational quotes
Reflections on the counselling process
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Important questions

With virtually every question that matters personally there is also a social - and perhaps universal - significance (Moutakas, C.  (1990)  Heuristic Research London:  Sage)

I love this quote because it shows the importance of our own experience.  Too often we assume that our own struggles, difficulties and feelings are not experienced by others, or are unimportant in the grand scheme of things.  However, Moustakas turns this on its head by reminding us that those experiences are of the deepest and most urgent importance; and that the things that matter to us, also matter to others - to humanity.


'...evaluation by others is not a guide for me.  The judgments of others, while they are to be listened to, and taken into account for what they are, can never be a guide for me.  This has been a hard thing to learn......I have come to feel that only one person (at least in my lifetime, and perhaps ever) can know whether what I am doing is honest, thorough, open and sound, or false and defensive and unsound, and I am that person.  I am happy to get all sorts of evidence regarding what I am doing and criticism (both friendly and hostile) and praise (both sincere and fawning) are a part of such evidence.  But to weigh this evidence and to determine its meaning and usefulness is a task I cannot relinquish to anyone else.'  (Carl Rogers 'On Becoming a Person' 1967 edition p. 23)

Trust your experience

Trust your experience:

'I can trust my experience.

...When an activity  feels  as though it is valuable or worth doing, it  is  worth doing.  Put another way, I have learned that my total organismic sensing of a situation is more trustworthy than my intellect.

All my professional life I have been going in directions that others thought were foolish and about which I have had many doubts myself.  But I have never regretted moving in directions which "felt right", even though I have often felt lonely or foolish at the time.

The seven swords

Mater Dolorosa:  The Unruined Heart

The swords through your heart
are not the ones which caused your wounds,
but rather, these mighty swords of Strength,
were earned by your struggles through hard times.
Sword of Surrender:  to withstand this time of learning.
Sword of Veils:  to pierce the hidden meanings of this time.
Sword of Healing:  to lance one's own agony, bitterness.
Sword of New Life:  to cut through, cut loose, plant anew.
Sword of Courage:  to speak up, row on, touch others.


"And here too, is a prayercito, a little blessing-prayer I'd say over you now, a prayercito I created years ago in the midst of some of the most harsh challenges of my own life.  I offer it to you as healing, no matter what walls surround your loved ones, no matter what devastations have occurred, no matter what prisons you have been dragged into, no matter where your loves ones are held captive, no matter what.

It is this, and I'd place you within the circle of Our Lady's wreath of green leaves and white flowers encircling her Immaculate Heart, and then just gently say these words over your perhaps tired heart, bedraggled spirit, but earnest and radiantly enduring soul:  Remember, no wall against the Holy can hold us away from the Holy.

The meaning of love

'Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality.  No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.' (Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning)

Goodness and truth

'To be truthful - few can do it!  And those who can, will not!  Least of all, however, can the good be truthful.
Oh these good men!  Good men will never tell the truth; to be good in that way is a sickness of the spirit.
They yield, these good men, they acquiesce, their hearts imitate, they obey from the heart:  But he who obeys does not listen to himself!' (Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra)

The client knows what is best

In his introduction toOn Becoming a PersonCarl Rogers recounts how he worked with a mother to help her deal with her child who was 'something of a hellion'.  He spent time with the mother gently interpreting her behaviour and showing her the evidence that supported his own insight that it was her early rejection of her son that caused his problems.  He got nowhere with her, despite his best efforts and eventually gave up.  They both agreed that the therapy had failed.  As the woman got up to leave his office, she asked if he did adult counselling.

The Courage to Be

'Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous Yes to one's own true being.' (Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be)

Permission to be.

In a conversation between Carl Rogers (the founder of person-centred therapy) and Martin Buber (a theologian and philosopher) the two men disagreed on many aspects of therapy.  However, they found one area that they could whole-heartedly agree on, and this was that in the therapeutic encounter one of the most valuable things a therapist could give to a client was the permission tobe:

Rogers:  'I give [the client] permission tobe.'

Buber:  'I think no human being can give more than this.