Today this article Counselor Helpful Yet a Problem  speaks to the last article Counseling More Problem Than Solution. Then I reported discovering an issue with counseling itself. The truth is that people in trouble will wait years before contacting a professional counselor for help. During that time the issues with which they struggle dig deeper in their psyches. Those issues become more entrenched, harder to understand and take more time to resolve once they actually hire a therapist. What they want most is to explain the problems involved to a person, who first of all, will listen as nobody they talk to knows the skill of listening. Second they want this person to hear or understand the meaning of how the issues affect them. Third, they want help in resolving the issues so they can live in peace. The problem is number two—hearing. Counselors who cannot pass number two will seldom reach number three.


Most counselors use the Person Centered method of counseling and actively listen to the client. The theory is that listening gives the client encouragement and space to think more clearly and self-discover the actual causes of the issues. The counselor does not have to understand anything about the actual dynamics of the issues. Hence, such a counselor may accept any person no matter what the problem. For example, the counselor may accept an anorexic or a Borderline Personality Disorder knowing little or nothing about those diseases. He or she has been taught that listening is all that is needed. Accepting either of those illnesses knowing little about them is like David facing Goliath with nary a stone in his possession.

The counselor will expand the number of sessions by his constantly asking the client what is meant by the words or actions involved. Even for the therapist who knows all about these two illnesses, the tendency will be to expand the number of sessions. This he will do by allowing the client to talk more than is needed to resolve the issue. Thus the title of the article: Counselor Helpful Yet a Problem.

Lane Stokes [email protected]