Monday, May 31, 2010

Coaching, counseling and listening

I’ve been reading discussions about psychiatric coercion- services which are contingent on accepting a diagnosis, taking meds; providers using leverage for compliance. On a peer provider list, there was a post about motivation counseling, that because it was subtly suggestive, motivating towards a suggested goal (maybe med compliance), that it’s coercion was insidious. The conclusion was that reflective listening is non-coercive, allowing persons to find their own truth, thus was what peers should provide to each other.

I agree that many people who cope with mood swings, fear, voices and visions need to find our own voice, hear ourselves, that reflective listening helps a lot with that. But I also think that only listening to one’s own voice is a closed universe, one is trapped by one’s own limitations and experience. To me, expecting reflective listening to be enough for change and growth seems as if I were to introspect long enough I would be able to be able suddenly to have the insight to speak Parsi. I think there’s a hostility in refusing to offer suggestions, a condescension, a retaining of the power imbalance. I think coaching and therapy fail if they insist on working within a finite personal field.