In councelling class today we started going over basic fundamentals on how to conduct ourselves while in sessions with people.
Ok so here are the 6 basic skills for counseling:
- Building the relationship
- Listen beneath the words
- Theory guided responding
- Facilitating insight
Then we broke down each of the 6 into further points of discussion. For number 1 (Building the relationship) we watched some videos, had some readings, and had a bunch of sub-points… basically spent the whole class just going over skill 1.
Now all of this was very interesting for me. But, as in most things in life, there was one little word or sentence that “hit me” and my mind took off on it’s own tangent path. It was just something said in passing during one of the points, and I instantly was captivated by it and decided that it was a matter of personal interest for me. I am going to have to study this idea that everyone else glossed over so easily in my own time.
So one of the sub-points of “Building the relationship” was to: Respect the other person’s dignity.
Respect the other person’s dignity…
Someone in the class asked how you can look at someone and do that in cases where you can not relate to or are even taken aback by the others issues or choices.
The teacher said that in those cases to realize that all of mankind was made in the image of God. Then we all moved on to the next point.
Well not “we” – since I was now mentally stuck on this whole image of God thing. We all were created in the image of God, and even though we are now fallen there are remnants of that image inside of all of us. So what we need to do to show that person dignity is look for the remnant of God that is within them and focus on and talk to and respect that part of them
We do need to see the reminant of the image of God in others and in ourselves. It is there… ever so faint, but still there. The fall of mankind, all our junk and baggage certainly can get in the way of it shining through, but it is still there waiting to come out.
It is in the depressed man, and the violent man. It is in the saint and in the sinner. But it goes beyond councelling, if this is true it should effect our every day lives.
It is in the poor man on the street – begging for change. In the starving, the cold, the sick and dying. In all these people is the image of God and they deserve dignity and respect.
In councelling we need to be able to see this, and in life we need to see it as well. Do we realize that when we treat a person kindly we are treating God kindly in return? Is the opposite true then as well?
Open up the Bible to Matthew 25:35-40
35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 ” The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
In Buddhism we cup our hands together and bow to eachother a lot. Seems kind of formal and respectful, and I certainly liked the tradition of it. Then the other week I was told that it represented something. When you do it you are to be mindful of the fact that you are bowing to a Buddha to be. To help us be mindful of this fact some say in their minds “A lotus (or flower, rose) for you, a Buddha to be”. The palms of the hands touching are forming the lotus flower (bud) by the way for those of you who don’t get that….
Anyway, at the time that I heard this I thought to myself “Oh, so I am believeing in or seeing the desire of this person to one day be a potential Buddha.” I was however missing the point entirely. It is not that I am reminding myself that they are “working on” being this way – I am acknowledgeing that it is already inside them. The image of God is already instilled in this man/woman/child, and I am bowing to it.
Well everyone out there, I bow to you.
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