This section pertains to psychodynamic and symbolic aspects of the personality that counsellors and psychotherapists might work with.

The survey question for those who have had counselling was:

Please indicate which of these things you explored and how useful it was?

1 = not useful all   7 = very useful

The survey question for those who want counselling the question was:

Please indicate which of these things you think you would like to explore about yourself in counselling and how useful it would be for you?

1 = not useful   7 = very useful

Psyche Graphs

Graph/ My ‘inner child’

Graph/ My ‘inner rebel’

Graph/ My ‘inner critic’

Graph/ My True Self

Graph/ My power

Graph/ My Fear

Graph/ My Anger

Graph/ My Shadow or ‘dark side’

A substantial percentage of respondents who want counselling rated ‘power’, ‘anger’ and ‘fear’ highly among these items. Many of those who received counselling explored these in their work and while only some found them useful they are rated noticeably higher than other items. ‘Inner critic’ was the next highest rated, with 50% of the M.E. group indicating they explored this and 37% rating the item 5 or higher.

Fewer respondents who received counselling explored the other items in this section and the ratings of how useful they found them are very varied. This suggests that counsellors that can work with these concepts can provide facilitation for M.E. and MS clients that some could find useful, but for others it may be better to find other things to explore.   Counsellors may need to be flexible and regularly check out with clients if the work they are doing is being helpful.   This approach may in itself raise problems as Emmy van Deurzen (2002 p.2) warns regarding inconsistency:

Unless the practitioner is experienced and creative enough to meld different approaches and assumptions into a new and consistent synthesis, the result may be extremely confusing.

This may be of particular relevance to counsellors working with people who have M.E.   The fatigue and cognitive difficulties caused by the illness could mean that some clients would prefer something clear and simple to help them.   While it may be counterproductive for counsellors to doggedly pursue areas of exploration that are not proving useful, it may also be unhelpful to try too many different things which could be confusing.

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