Practice Concepts

The key to helping any person is to be able to relate to them in a manner that is satisfying and gratifying. This is an enormous task for not only must you have some basic understanding of their worldview (their beliefs about themselves, of other people including what they believe other people believe about them, and their expectations for the future; you must also know thyself. People perceive what they expect to perceive: angry people expect to see offense, etc. Too often we supply the very fodder to assure people with problems in living that they are right to be angry, anxious, or sad. Use these concepts as a means of expanding your own thinking: develop a ‘beginner’s mind’. Nothing is quite as it seems – can you allow the process of change to develop?

Related Content

67 A History of Language in Counseling

The article is concerned the beginnings of NeuroLinguistic Programming [NLP] and the heightened understanding of the importance of language patterns and structure in psychological counseling. When we begin to discuss the impact of the cognitive model, we cannot underestimate the use of language, and it is our belief that the impetus for the development of much of what psychologist do with language today had its beginning is the undisciplined, but ultra creative beginnings of NLP.

66 Circular Questioning

A method of externalization occurs within the Systems Theory of Circular Questioning. Circular questioning is the centerpiece of a group of family counselors known as the Milan Group. Their experiences with families of people with schizophrenia led them to question and discard structural approaches and to incorporate systems theory, which draws heavily on the work of Gregory Bateson, into their work. For Bateson, mental processes are a form of cybernetic feedback.

65 What is Distorted Thinking?

One of the marvels of the mind is that once we learn to do complex tasks, they can become automatic and unconscious. For example, when you first learn to drive a car, learning to steer, brake, and judge various driving situations requires all of your attention. Eventually, however, driving becomes so automatic that you need pay little conscious attention to the many tasks involved. Even though you are making decisions every minute, you are unaware of most of them. Instead, you listen to the radio or talk to the passengers, giving driving only a casual thought.

64 Counsel

1. The act of exchanging opinions and ideas; consultation.
2. Advice or guidance, especially as solicited from a knowledgeable person.
3. Counseling – something that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of action

62 Labeling – What to Call a Child

Until recently, programs to train teachers have not moved in an evolutionary process. Training of teachers has progressed in most content areas but has been woefully derelict in the social and affective areas. To a large degree, this has been due to the inability of one set of disciplines (namely, psychology and psychiatry) to communicate effectively, in practical terms, an understanding of disturbed behavior to the related discipline of pedagogy.

61 Values

Values are held at three levels: as ideals which may never be reached but are what is what we hope for; as goals which we will work towards with the expectation that some day we will get there, and as commitments which means that every person is working on these values NOW! Human service staff people often do not hold values as commitments even though they are held as commitments by organizations. This is sometimes due to the vague manner in which they are articulated.


Unless specifically noted all materials are written by Jerome R. Gardner. As you will see by the size of the library contents, the materials are substantial. Since most of the writing was developed as think papers and not for publication, there will inevitably be some areas without proper citation. If you come across any, please notify the site manager and it will be rectified. Other than that, readers may use all materials. While I would prefer recognition, it is not necessary.