Our belief in Human Nature decides our view of the world, the people in it and most importantly, our clients.
In my latest YouTube video, I look at why our belief in Human Nature is so important to reflect and be clear on, as a Counsellor.
Human Nature in Counselling
If we believe that people can be trusted and are ultimately good and pro-social, we can give them space and conditions to find their own way and answers, ala Carl Rogers.
Conversely, if we believe, like Freud, that people have destructive drives and tendencies that need to be managed and treated, then this will also decide our approach as a Therapist. Most likely, taking the role of expert, ‘treating’ the patient and possibly featuring a lack of trust in their nature.
Here are some questions for your consideration, when thinking about your view on Human Nature:
- Do you believe that people are born good, bad or as a blank slate?
- Do you believe that people can ultimately be trusted or need guidance and advice?
- How do we explain the bad things that people do?
- Are people ultimately self-centred and just look after themselves or are ultimately caring and selfless?
- Do we have free will or does a higher power or fate determine our choices and decisions?
- Are people naturally social or self-centred?
- What has the biggest influence – nature or nurture?
- Is Mental Health determined by social factors or genetics?
- Can people change or are many behaviours set after a certain period?
I hope these questions and the video are helpful in your reflections about your own view on Human Nature.
There is also a great chapter and exercises around Human Nature in Counselling in Tony Merry’s book – Learning and Being in Person-Centred Counselling
Please comment below with any thoughts or questions about this topic to start the discussion.