Here is an article that I wrote in 2011 after some heavy Buddhist reading and finding my way as a newly qualified counsellor – The Dalai Lama and Counselling:

I have recently taken a lot of learning from the Dalai Lama’s teachings and couldn’t help but notice a strong link between the Dalai Lama and Counselling. I think one thing that we would all agree with is the universal desire for more happiness in our lives and the absence of suffering as much as possible. 

The Dalai Lama often talks about our inner world, the power of self and that ultimately we are in control with how we feel. Again, this is something that was emphasized through my own Counselling training. We all face suffering, difficulties and hardship, but what matters and varies so much, is how we react to these things. There can be the same event happen to many people, and the variety of impact and reaction between each person can be astounding. Group therapy or Personal Development groups can be one clear illustration of this fact. The variety of reaction or impact that the same event can create in different people is a good example of how different each person’s inner world can be and the impact this has on our lives and emotions.

I believe strongly that through self-awareness, we can really begin to alter how we see both ourselves and the world around us. As well as this, it can help us see things much more realistically and be aware of our own triggers and difficulties. I also believe strongly that we all have an innate desire to better ourselves and also the ability to find the answers that we are looking for. This is also clearly in line with the person-centred approach.

For me, this is where Counselling comes in. Counselling offers a place where you are free to be you, free to talk about what you like and free to express yourself without the fear of judgement. I truly believe that this is the best environment for us to begin to understand ourselves and move closer to a purer, happier way of being. Once we begin to see why such a thing makes us angry or why we reacted a certain way to an event then we truly begin to know ourselves and I believe that this is the most precious relationship available.

If we hold on to and are unaware of our fears, frustrations, prejudices etc, then we only act on behalf of these emotions, often unknowingly, which will more often than not have a very negative impact on not just those around us but ourselves as well. If we are truly at peace with who we are and have great self-awareness then I believe that our attitudes towards both ourselves and others change for the better. I think it is important that we don’t shy away from our ability to understand ourselves better, whilst not dismissing how difficult this can be at times. If we are able to offer both ourselves and others love, understanding, support and care then this can have a clear knock-on effect to those around us, resulting in a much more accepting and friendly world. 

There can be so much judgement and pressure around in today’s world and through Counselling, we are given a space where we can truly be ourselves without fear of judgement. Having this space enables us to get to know and develop our true selves and feel at peace with who this person is. I believe that with a much stronger sense of self, inner peace and greater happiness, we can then approach the world with much less fear, anger, judgement, violence and prejudice. Something which I think we all agree would be a much nicer place to be.

You can find the original article posted on the Counselling Directory here

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