Erica Fearnall 211699220
Presently Existing
1
Presently Existing
Erica Fearnall
York University
February 26th
2015
Erica Fearnall 211699220
Presently Existing
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Personal development is a process that never entirely ends. Spending time se...
Erica Fearnall 211699220
Presently Existing
3
acknowledged and understood. The therapist will absorb the various verbal an...
Erica Fearnall 211699220
Presently Existing
4
to the current moment (Geller & Greenberg). This helps the therapist prepare...
Erica Fearnall 211699220
Presently Existing
5
share of highs and lows. Not long into starting my own practice I realized t...
Erica Fearnall 211699220
Presently Existing
6
myself not being mentally present with my physical experience; thinking ahea...
Erica Fearnall 211699220
Presently Existing
7
References
Dixit, J. (2008, November 1). The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living...
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Presently Existing

Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Presently Existing

  • 1. Erica Fearnall 211699220 Presently Existing 1 Presently Existing Erica Fearnall York University February 26th 2015
  • 2. Erica Fearnall 211699220 Presently Existing 2 Personal development is a process that never entirely ends. Spending time searching deeper into the qualities a therapist can develop and learn to possess has opened my imagination for personal transformation. Therapists envision themselves possessing a skill or quality at a higher level than their current one, marking the beginning of a journey to be had. Therapeutic qualities are essential to the process of therapy, to the individual therapist and to the client. The therapeutic quality that will be used for the purpose of this review is the ability to be present- orientated. A journey is often thought of as travelling from one place to another. It seems ironic that one could travel to the present; to a place that you are already located in physical space. However, presence is more complex than a physical location. It is a multi-faceted way of existing. Presence is a state of focused concentration on both verbal and non-verbal expressions, having both emotional and cognitive connection to the current moment in time (Martin, 2011). Therapeutic presence is defined as being in contact with the moment by being receptive and immersed in it; having a larger sense of expansion and perception with the intention of being with the client for the healing process (Geller & Greenberg, 2010). Therefore, the journey to presence encapsulates bringing all of your senses and abilities to the only moment that you know you will have – the present, and absorbing what you can from it. Through therapeutic presence, the therapist accesses a set of listening skills that enhances communication as well as builds a deeper relationship with the client in order for them to feel safe to work through their difficult issues. This is essential to a good counseling session because it can promote a safe environment where clients can begin to trust the therapist as the expert and look for guidance on their most troublesome issues. While present with the client, the therapist is able to utilize their listening skills to the best of their ability, leaving the client feeling
  • 3. Erica Fearnall 211699220 Presently Existing 3 acknowledged and understood. The therapist will absorb the various verbal and non-verbal expressions by the client, further allowing the therapist to share in the client’s experience (Martin, 2010). This further enhances the relationship between the therapist and the client. The therapeutic relationship is an essential component of therapy which benefits the client when strong relationships are created (Colosimo, Geller & Pos, 2012). Through presence the therapist will be more knowing of their client due to increased awareness and attention and lowered sense of judgement. Therapeutic presence has the power to convey to the client that the therapist is interested and committed to what the client is dealing with (Martin, 2010). In an effective counseling session, therapists are able to experience the client moment to moment. Incorporating presence into therapy in this regard allows for therapists to be with the client rather than do to the client (Geller & Greenberg). Geller and Greenberg explain that through presence the therapist would not be directing the client’s thoughts or feelings but rather receiving the client in their current state and being compassionate. Effective counseling occurs when therapists bring tools to the session that can benefit the client. If a therapist were to show up to a session without adequate training, poor therapy results would occur. Since therapeutic presence is considered to be the ultimate tool for understanding patients (Geller & Greenberg), bringing presence to a session would result in a good counseling process. Using presence as a tool for success with the client can develop the therapeutic process and encourage positive results for the client. Cultivating presence in the personal life as well as professional life of a therapist can be done in many ways. Bracketing is one way that a therapist can practice presence. Bracketing is the process where personal beliefs, needs and assumptions are put aside in order to fully connect
  • 4. Erica Fearnall 211699220 Presently Existing 4 to the current moment (Geller & Greenberg). This helps the therapist prepare by letting their thoughts to the side and creating space to be open and non-judgmental for the client. Bracketing allows the therapist to absorb the client’s presence and needs during the therapy session. Dr. Geller (2009) proposes that through mindfulness in real life situations, presence can be developed. Dr. Geller defines mindfulness as a way of being with experience, full acceptance and without judgment. Using one suggested exercise called the Daily Awareness Practice, presence can be developed within an individual. By choosing one activity throughout the day and being mindful and aware of aspects of that experience, the therapist would enhance their ability to be present in various aspects of their life. Another method of cultivating presence in a therapist’s personal life is through mindful eating. By bringing a non-judgmental attitude to meal time, food can be savored, fullness can be more accurately assessed and emotions are not tied into feeding behaviors (Plante & Erlandsen, 2014). Being present for the experience of eating can help the therapist develop connections to sensory responses within their body. Divulging physiological, mental and emotional connections with food can encourage therapists to connect with these senses and become aware of them in the moment. Cultivating presence in one area of a therapist’s life familiarizes them with the process and experience of presence. From here, present-orienting skills can be transferrable to therapy sessions where the benefits are received by the client. Reflecting on my personal journey of trying to cultivate presence in my own life, I realize the significance of practice and reflection. The past month has been a journey that has had its
  • 5. Erica Fearnall 211699220 Presently Existing 5 share of highs and lows. Not long into starting my own practice I realized that my definition of presence was not as complete as it is now. In January I believed that presence was a place where your mind only thought of the current unfolding moment. Throughout the project I have been expanding on this definition by experiencing different aspects of presence. To me, it now incorporates sensory feelings, non-verbal communication, exclusiveness of the moment and holistic experiences. Naturally I am a very strong leading individual. I chose to take on a task full-force and complete it to the best of my ability. When assigned this self-development project I recognized myself becoming focused on what I thought was the end goal; to cultivate presence in aspects of my life. The first few days that I could get into the present experience I thought I had cultivated the skill and it would be practice from that point onward. I was greatly mistaken. The days that I could not present-orient myself were really challenging. I struggled in various aspects of my day – emotionally, physically and socially. I could not connect to my thoughts and feelings, let alone the people around me. Recording my journey has shown me that the connections I did make to the current moment were very complex and multidimensional. I comment on experiences of holding my coffee and sensing my hands become an important part of my body; a grounding object to the moment I was living in. I sensed smells from the pool I work at that I had never really noticed before. My ability to receive internal signals was stronger than it has ever been before. I recorded an experience with my younger sister in which I found myself surprised that I was judgment free of her behavior which was an entirely new occurrence for me. Spending one month developing presence in my life has expanded my ability to comprehend the importance of therapists developing their skills and tools in order to be a successful therapist as well as individual. At the beginning of this journey I would recognize
  • 6. Erica Fearnall 211699220 Presently Existing 6 myself not being mentally present with my physical experience; thinking ahead, planning out activities, mapping out my time. As my practice became more familiar I was able to control these future or past oriented thoughts in order to dive into the full moment with no hesitation. I wasn’t happy spending my present-orientation focusing on my future thoughts; it was creating stress and unnecessary worry about what I had to do next. The importance of presence for therapists is remarkable. The experience of whole-heartedly jumping into their clients experience without distracting personal thoughts or feelings is a level of presence that I wish to someday achieve. I learned that therapists must undergo ongoing development of their skills in order to become masters; they can practice using different methods and applying their skills in various scenarios in their life. Therapeutic presence is a wonderful tool used in therapy with clients. It has the potential to be very rewarding to both the client and therapist. The last thing I want to mention about presence is the ability for it to harness control. I used to think that I had to act or react in certain ways but now realize that when you are truly present in the moment with yourself, you possess the control for your behaviors. A quote by Mark Twain explains control by being present, “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” (Dixit,2008). Presence gives therapists the ability to personally and professionally stay within the realm of what is happening. Presence allows you to be aware of your current situation and not worrying about anything else until it is the right moment to deal with it.
  • 7. Erica Fearnall 211699220 Presently Existing 7 References Dixit, J. (2008, November 1). The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment. Retrieved February 22, 2015, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200810/the-art- now-six-steps-living-in-the-moment Geller, S. (2009). Cultivation of Therapeutic Presence: Therapeutic Drumming and Mindfulness Practices. Journal for Client - Centered Psychotherapy, 47(4), 273-287. Retrieved February 17, 2015, from http://www.sharigeller.ca/_images/pdfs/CultivationPresence.pdf Greenberg, L., & Geller, S. (n.d.). Congruence and Therapeutic Process. Retrieved February 23, 2015, from http://www.sharigeller.ca/_images/pdfs/Congruence_proofs.pdf Martin, D. (2011). Chapter 8: Beyond Skills. In Counseling & Therapy Skills (3rd ed.). Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press. Plante, B., & Erlandsen, A. (2014, June 3). NDNR. Retrieved February 19, 2015, from http://ndnr.com/mindbody/mindful-eating/ Psychotherapy Bulletin. (2012, January 1). Retrieved February 15, 2015, from http://www.divisionofpsychotherapy.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/2012-Bulletin- 473.pdf

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