The Big Stick Approach

There are many different styles of counselling approaches these days and it pays to shop around for the counselor that suits you. This can also apply to Astrology counselling. I work mainly with teenagers and have learned over the years that the parental “Big Stick” approach just doesn’t work in counselling. Lately it seems that some mothers and counsellors are using a big stick on me.

It seems that some parents and other counsellors interpret my style of work as condoning negative kinds of behaviours. Perhaps their opinions about my style of work reveals why they have problems working with teenagers?

BigStickAGet into line you!

If a client is exhibiting aggressive behaviours or taking drugs etc it would seem that some of their issues will involve aspects of their developmental life. That is, the persons ability to deal with their inner feeling life in relation to parents. To help a client access their inner world the counsellor must establish trust and respect through a non judgemental process.

Teenagers will especially push the limits of authorities to declare their independance. Why would a good counsellor take a critical or “parental” approach to his clients when there are underlying issues that need attention?

Fit+Pack+Yellow2

Free Needles

These days government agencies freely hand out syringe packs to intravenous drug users. These programs are called NSP and a person comes in and either exchanges his used syringes for new ones or gets a free “Fitpack”. One could say that the Government health departments are condoning the use of drugs. This is not the case.

If a parent wields a big stick in regard to their teenagers behaviours one can expect the acting out teenager to show an equally rebellious force back. Parents become stuck in a difficult transferrence relationship which can become a never ending fight against the child.

double finger

Double Finger

If a person is going to continue their negative behaviours then what is the best way to deal with them? The answer is to “stay out of the authoritative transferrence”, be firm and understanding. If my clients are exhibiting negative behaviours like drug taking, aggressiveness, cutting (self harming) not going to school etc; I clarify that “I do not give permissions for those behaviours” however if that’s what the teenager is doing then lets talk about it.

How can a teenager express his natural opposition and separating phase and be good to his Mother?

1. He could do some anger work and express his angst towards his controlling figures in life.

2. He could maintain his rebellious stance and say  “I will show Mum”

3. Over time with counselling to help the boy express his “natural self ” (self esteem work) – Working with the Mother’s in some cases.

4. Perhaps the boy could do both? To rebel against authority and maintain his school and working life.

5. Form a trusting relationship with a person capable of working “alongside” him or her during this separation phase.

6. To learn about the Rules (boundaries) in his own way even if that means going into a juvenile justice system.

Kingsley

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2 Responses to “The Big Stick Approach”


  1. 1 Graffiti September 2, 2009 at 17:39

    Good comment Kingsley,

    I think you define the fine line well that a counsellor has to take. Not condoning ‘bad’ behaviour but also not being authoritative about it. Perhaps as you say there are some who would say that being authoritative about it is the right approach to take.

    Hells bells! I call myself “graffiti”. Am I condoning graffiti by doing so?

    Graffiti

  2. 2 kingsley September 2, 2009 at 18:29

    Howdy Grafitti

    Perhaps policing is using the authorative approach well? Even corrective services counsellors seem to have a much better approach these days Grafitti. Many of the departments find themselves a part of a larger governmental philosophy.

    I know some very good govt counsellors who work very well with teenagers and parents. It would be hard to follow “absolute” protocol and make progress though.

    kingsley


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