Stages of Counseling
Throughout our site you may see us refer to stages of counselors. So you may be wondering what a Stage One Counselor is. For that matter, you may be asking what is a Stage Two or Stage Three Counselor. Well, in reality, there is no such thing. We’ve made these names up. And at the same time, we have consistently seen a pattern of three distinctive groupings in the way counselors approach therapy and interact with their clients. We’ve named these three groupings as the Expert, the Wounded Healer, and the Evolving Counselor. There are, of course, as many different styles of counseling as there are counselors, but what separates each of these groupings, more than anything else, is their level of empathic development.
We’ll define these further in upcoming posts.
A few notes about levels of development:
When we reach a higher stage, we do not leave behind the prior stage. We build upon each stage or level that we’ve mastered. This doesn’t mean that a Stage Two Counselor is a better, more valuable person than a Stage One Counselor. It simply means the counselor at Stage Two has developed capacities that the counselor at Stage One has not yet. Each stage embodies important qualities but then reaches its limits in what it can see and do. Consistent frustration, irritation, disappointment, pessimism, helplessness, and depression are some of the signals that we are ready for the next stage to be activated and expressed through us.
Within each higher level of empathic development is a more inclusive, truthful worldview, greater emotional intelligence, expanded self-awareness, a deeper knowing of our interconnectedness, and more effective interpersonal skills.
Exciting stuff here. Let us know your thoughts.