Counselling offers the opportunity to face your true self in a safe, supportive space. The process of self awareness represents a significant crossroads in the life of the client and the stage of the therapeutic relationship. Is the client ready and willing to explore their true feelings with their therapist and themselves. As counsellors, it is our duty to develop our own self awareness so that not only can we be fully in tune with our clients "When we avoid knowing how we feel or what we think, we cannot learn to empathise with other people & take their feelings & thoughts seriously" (Dowrick, S 1991), but that we can communicate that it is desirable to live with self awareness.
Self awareness is about opening the mind and heart to experiencing our inner selves. It is about facing parts of the self which may not have been acknowledged for years. It also challenges our ability or willingness to accept all that we uncover. As a counsellor, It is my role to communicate self awareness and acceptance to each client as this reflects my belief in the power of the counselling process.
Self awareness is empowering as it enables an individual to reach inside themselves and actually listen to their feelings. It can be an intensely liberating experience or a very scary one. But I ask myself, would I choose not to know; to go about my daily business without such a relationship with my self. Of course not, without it, my experiences are minimised, my emotions are impeded, but I realise, each journey is unique and it is up to us when it begins and when it ends.
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