How to choose a good abuse counselor, adviser or program:
An effective program should provide clients with options, community resources and alternative perspectives. The therapy strategy should primarily empower the client to reduce their vulnerabilities and strengthen the coping skills necessary to resist similar situations in the future. An effective counselor should take an active role, without taking responsibility for the clients self-healing. A display of acceptance, empathy and a positive attitude gives hope that the victim's emotional frustrations and situations will improve. Clients develop awareness through the program, whereby they, like the others, will survive, and thrive better than before the incident(s). New perspectives, insights and a higher perspective, should effectively elicit new skills and positive changes to ensure continued personal growth and empowerment. Your comfort level is important! Never expect a counselor or a program to 'fix' your pain. There is no one magic remedy outside of your own self, know that your own soul, mind, and body, have natural processes to bring you back to the wholeness already within you. A good counselor and healer, helps to find those stuck points and ascertains your healing and empowerment buttons, coaching from there. You know best of what you need and what is comfortable. It should be up to each person to set his or her own pace, and to utilize the resources available. Everyone has his or her own issues, challenges, concerns, aspirations and dreams of the future. Challenges come and go, as a part of life, and oft, as growing pains. Growth is a lifelong process. Striving to be whole and happy are the basic yearnings within all of us. Patience in obtaining outcomes is important; healing cannot be forced beyond a person’s capacity and timing. While it is good to have positive role models and mentors, honour your own journey and milestones, how far you have already come in this life. One common stuck point is adding pressure on one's self, in that you should be a lot further along than you think you are. Maybe you are comparing yourself to some elusive societal ideal that simply is not who you really are. I have yet to meet the Cosby family, where all things are resolved within half an hour. Perhaps they exist; I have yet to meet them. Those in the helping professions, such as doctors, lawyers, social workers, psychologists, teachers, Ministers and Holistic Healers, are not perfect. We are all human, with challenges and vulnerabilities. Make sure that you choose those whom are positive, compassionate, and do supportive work in alignment with who you are at your best. You can candidly ask them whom they go to for support in their own lives, what activities they do outside of work that they enjoy, and what their aspirations for the future are. These questions, while not deeply personal, offer enough personal character insights to form trusting, confidential bonds.
The Counselling Process: A good counselor and program ought to focus on gaining insights and new skill development, as opposed to long term, dark space exploration. Use a counselor or program as one part of the healing process, in hand with other options, for support and information. You have the inner personal power to do the things needed in order to heal. If you feel uncomfortable, are not having your needs met, or think that perhaps the counselor is missing the point, discuss this concern with them before leaving if you are comfortable to do so. Failing resolution and adjustments; move on to another resource option. Stay mindful, to not expect an instant miracle cure. While instant miracles do occur, it is the usually a slower comfortable growth and those incremental breakthroughs that grow strong, wise and competent souls. A counselor or healer merely draws your own inner wisdom, empowerment and confidence out for your conscious awareness. For optimum results, your healing process must be self-directed. You are the boss of your own contentment and you do know what is best for you. The more you learn and discuss, the more likely it is that you will find positive outcomes. Information is power that works hand in hand with wisdom, to grow and evolve into wholeness, and a life of thriving. We often fear making decisions after trauma, of making mistakes and of trusting our judgement. You have inner strength, wisdom and courage. Stay focused on your aspirations, how you would like things to be and go for it.
Trust and Rapport: Your first contact meeting with a counselor should convey to you the following;
Your honest story must be believed.
Your feelings and thoughts are valid.
You have hope, confidence and faith for maximum recovery.
You are the boss of your recovery processes. You are offered options to move forward at a comfortable pace.
Obvious caring and empathy should alleviate any sense of isolation and loneliness.
Confidentiality is ensured and office protocols and policies are explained. For example, hospital and government records can be subpoenaed and under what extenuating circumstances. A religious Minister can be bound to Pastoral Confidence.
Resource options are given and discussed.
Reference to basic Human Rights, privacy and personal boundaries, where each individual has the right to their own power and control over their own behaviours, including legal and public disclosure.
Meeting concludes with a renewed sense of safety and hope.
For those disclosing their trauma for the first time, safety and trust are imperative.
Some may have experienced denial, negative judgment, blame, or shame from others in the past.
(c) *Abbreviated excerpt from the book; “Sacred Space, mind body soul after sexual abuse” By; Jan Porter. Your body, mind and soul are Sacred Space. Shifting wounds into wisdom and loving life, is the art of inspired transformation. The journey out of the pain of sexual abuse to wholeness is in boldly allowing insights and inspiration to bring forth authentic empowerment, fulfillment and inner peace. Sacred Space offers insights and resources from those who have been there and bounced back better than before. The power of your ancestors and the magic of the cosmos is in your DNA!" *Jan Porter is a seasoned personal growth and fiction author; www.janporter.ca. EBook and paperback available wherever books are sold, Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com.