Assignment 4

Topics: Abraham Maslow, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Self-awareness Pages: 17 (6898 words) Published: December 2, 2014
"What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself. -- Abraham H. Maslow (Robson, John 2013)”
This says to me that in order for a person to change they have to first become aware of themselves and how they perceive and understand themselves in relation to the world. During the following assignment I am going to explore how I myself, through the studying of counselling skills and theory, have developed my understanding of self and how I apply this within whatever environment I am placed in.

1. Understand how the study of counselling theory can inform personal development and growth 1.1 Reflect on ways in which the study of counselling theory has developed their understanding of self One area I feel I have developed during my study of counselling skills is that of self-concept and how I can place conditions of worth upon myself. “A need for positive regard from others is a learned need developed in early infancy. Positive regard here means the perception of experiencing oneself as making a positive difference in the experiential field of another (Nelson-Jones 2006)” This says to me that we learn form an early age to seek recognition from others by way of having a positive impact on other people and seeing the positive responses they show towards us. Conditions of worth are standards of value that are placed upon us as to how good we are and how we think we should behave based upon outside influences, and we behave in certain ways dependant upon how we view ourselves related to these standards of value. In essence our organismic or real self, that is simply how we are and our own true feelings not influenced externally, is distorted by these standards of value and we become an idealised version of ourselves based upon what we believe are expectations from others on how we should behave. This ideal self then becomes reality for us, however irrational this is, and we then adopt behaviours supporting our ideal self, even resisting positive feedback, which would support our real self, as this is contrary to how we view ourselves in the world. When I look at myself over the past 9 months, as I have progressed through my study, I have realised that some of my behaviours were relating to an Ideal Self I had created based upon conditions of worth and standards of value I had actually placed upon myself believing that was what others wanted to see. I recognise this in my interactions with others. My belief is that helping others is important, which in itself is related to my Real Self, however I then placed a condition on this that I would only recognise the value of me helping someone else if I actually received recognition for this, and if this did not occur I would then feel a failure and inadequate, creating feelings of frustration and anxiety, leaving me believing that my efforts to help others were in vain and that in fact I was not good enough. Since exploring the theory behind this I now understand myself a great deal more and can catch my thoughts as I am helping someone. I no longer seek out the recognition from others, rather I reflect back on what I have done and acknowledge to myself the fact that indeed I have helped someone and feel good about this, creating feelings of contentment and satisfaction believing that my efforts are always well intended irrespective of the response I get. I have reverted back to my Real Self and no longer am influenced externally, which eradicates many unwanted feelings that I had created through the conditions and standards I placed upon myself.

1.2 Reflect on ways in which the study of counselling theory has developed their understanding of life events and their responses to them When looking at how I view life situations one in particular stands out and I can relate this event to Freud and Defence Mechanisms in particular Reaction Formation. “It is probably true to say that when strongly held views are evident, there is some likelihood that the opposite...

References: Memiah Limited. (1998). Diversity. Available: Last accessed 7th June 2013.
The University of Nottingham. (2012). Principles of Constructive Feedback. Available: Last accessed 9th June 2013.
Hough, M (1998). Counselling Skills and Theory. London: Hodder & Stoughton Educational.
Nelson-Jones, R (2006). Theory and Practice of Counselling and Therapy
Wheeler, Professor Sue (2006). Difference and Diversity in Counselling: Contemporary Psychodynamic Approaches. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
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