Kelsey Waskow's Archive

Non-possessive Warmth

5 Commentsby   |  09.05.09  |  Uncategorized

As discussed in class this previous week, non-possessive warmth is one of the three key characteristics a therapist needs to exhibit for effective therapy to take place.  To better understand what non-possessive warmth is, I believe it is necessary to look at what it is not.  According to Truax and Carkhuff’s stages of non-possessive warmth, the first stage is when the therapist is letting it be known what he or she thinks about what the client is telling them.  Their opinion of the client and their behavior is clear, and oftentimes the therapist tries to tell the client what is best for them to do.  As I was reading about non-possessive warmth at this stage, an image of therapist as a parent (albeit an “unhealthy” one) came into my mind.  The therapist has made the clients actions personal, and seems to be taking a level of responsibility for them, much like a parent may take responsibility for the actions of his or her child.  More »

Kelsey Waskow's Comment Archive

  1. Kelsey Waskow on Second-Order Change
    11:02 pm, 12.06.09

    I agree with what the other’s said Kent: that was a great analogy! I think nature in general shows us a great deal of examples of second order change. One of those is that of extinction. When a species becomes extinct, the species that were previously it’s hunters have to incorporate second order change and discover another species that they can hunt. Very similar to your analogy, way to go on originality, Kelsey!

    Sybil, I also agree with what you said about Christianity being a great example of second order change in our lives. Only upon accepting Christ into our heart and lives, this complete metamorphosis is able to occur.

  2. Kelsey Waskow on Resistance
    10:49 pm, 12.06.09

    As I was reading this post, I thought about how resistance can be seen across the board regardless of what profession you choose to be in. As a teacher, third-grade student’s exhibited resistance mostly based around having to change how they did some particular task to show improvement. In the corporate world, employees could show resistance towards their coworkers or bosses suggestions. I think it is typically both the one trying to resist as well as the opposing force that is at fault, including in the thearpist/client relationship. I think that it is essential for the therapist to be aware of the speed with which the client is moving, so that they do not bring up an element to change prior to the client’s being prepared to do so. At the same time, I feel like the client sometimes consciously (some may even call it stubbornly)promote resistance in themselves. Like you said Sabrina, change is scary, and we must be aware that our clients may do their best to keep it at bay.

  3. I have an uncle who in his parenting role definitely serves as an overfunctioner. His daughters are 6 and 3 years old, and he has almost caused them to take on a role of learned helplessness. If it weren’t for their mother and babysitter, the two girls probably would not be able to function at all. One way in which I have seen him in this role was while the 6 year old was learning to read. She would come home with tasks to accomplish, and he would give her no time to answer before he was already feeding her the answer. In fear that she would give the wrong answer (possibly making him look bad)he would go ahead and do the work for her. Thankfully their mother and (perhaps, mostly) their babysitter resist this same position from taking place, or I am sure these two young ones would be struggling a great deal. However, I do question how this will affect them as they develop.

  4. Kelsey Waskow on Accurate Empathy
    7:54 pm, 12.03.09

    When thinking about the role that accurate empathy plays in therapy, I thought about the ultimate “Accurate Empathizer” and a specific story where it was exemplified. I thought about the story in the Bible where the woman who was committing adultery was brought to Jesus, and those that brought her to Him had stones that were just ready to be thrown. Although Jesus did not agree with what she was doing (He even told her to go and sin no more) He did not join with the crowd and place judgment on her. Although the scriptures do not say so, I am sure Jesus had a great deal of empathy that day for the woman.

    In much the same way, whereas we are not instructed to agree with the actions that our clients are taking part in, we are ordered to love on them as Jesus loves on us. Like Amie said, there is nothing inside of me that believes that a person wakes up one day and decides to act in a specific way – but instead due to past hurts or cognitions, they take part in a certain behavior. I think it is key that we do not just look at the action being committed and say “that is who they are” but instead we reach deep within themselves and find a place where we can understand their present selves.

  5. Kelsey Waskow on Genuineness
    7:12 pm, 12.03.09

    I think the answer to the second question is one of those that I have tossed around quite a bit in my head, and have yet to find a complete answer to. I think it is important to remember that as a therapist, we are not in a session with a client to place any sort of judgment on them. The point of their coming to therapy is not so that we can serve as their justice system. Having said that, I think it is vital to realize that I can be genuine to a person without agreeing with their choices. I believe it is a choice within myself to find a place of understanding where I can accept the client and the place where they are coming from. By acknowledging the lenses that the clients are speaking from, I will be more capable of understanding them, thus more capable of showing genuineness towards them.