ABC Coaching & Counselling Services, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire; and by telephone, email & Skype
 

This site  The Web 

ABC Coaching and Counselling Services offers professional counselling, psychotherapy and coaching services, in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire; and by telephone, email and Skype/webcam all over the world.

Plus some CPD courses and learning resources for counselling students; postgraduate students; qualified counsellors; and self-help enthusiasts.

The ABC services are based upon the theory and practice of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) - which incorporates CBT/REBT, depth psychology and humanistic (client centred) approaches.  More specifically, we integrate REBT/CBT, Transactional Analysis (TA), Narrative Therapy, Attachment Theory, Object Relations, Zen Buddhism and Moral Philosophy.

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Coaching, counselling and psychotherapy in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 8HJ, UK

Telephone counselling and Skypewebcam counselling all over the English speaking world.

Email counselling for individuals with good English writing skills, who are not seriously emotionally disturbed.

Academic coaching for counselling and psychotherapy students.

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Overview of site content: Counselling and coaching services; and counselling and coaching training courses and informational resources; including video format. Face to face coaching and counselling services; telephone counselling; email counselling; skype counselling; performance coaching; psychotherapy; couples therapy; books on counselling, and on anxiety, anger management, stress management, and happiness. Confidence counselling and coaching: Assertiveness; self confidence; self acceptance. Happiness coaching and positive psychology. Counselling research; and counselling supervision. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT); Rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT); Cognitive emotive narrative therapy (CENT); Transactional analysis (TA); Object relations and attachment theory; Zen Buddhism and moral philosophy.  Training for counsellors; Articles and papers on CENT counselling.  Counselling diploma assignments.  Copy of counsellor's doctoral thesis.  The institute for CENT (cognitive emotive narrative therapy). Pages on attachment theory, meditation, narrative therapy, writing therapy, anger, anxiety, depression, stress, stoic philosophy for counsellors, and much more besides.

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Hello, and welcome to

ABC Coaching and Counselling Services

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 Established 1998

Helping individuals to grow and thrive

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Counselling and Coaching for you: Trust us to solve your problems!

Are you looking for counselling, coaching or psychotherapy help with difficult problems, at home or at work?  If so, we can help!  

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We provide high quality help in the form of face-to-face counselling, psychotherapy and coaching - in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire - and by telephone or email counselling all over the world.

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We can help you to solve your problems and improve the quality of your life!

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In addition to professional counselling and coaching services, we also offer some books, information packs and training courses in counselling and related subjects; as well as the ABC Counselling Members' Club.

"A single conversation across the table with a wise person is worth a month's study of books".   

Chinese Proverb

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 Together we can rewrite the story you're living!

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Coaching and Counselling Quote No.1: Philosophy of counselling:

Counsellors and psychotherapists must be socially and politically aware in order to help their clients to reclaim their minds from the ideology of Selfish Capitalism and Affluenza (as described by Dr Oliver James): Individual counselling clients may be upset because of their perception of being a victim of social inequality; being excluded from the kinds of successes and victories that are advertised as being everybody’s need and right.  The advertising industry has a lot to answer for in this regard, and governments do far too little to protect the citizen from the PR promoters of envy, greed, materialistic grasping, desire for fame and fortune, and on and on. One of the ways that counsellors can help the ‘losers’ of the materialistic striving for endless gratification is to teach them the core insights of Buddhism and Stoicism – philosophies of endurance and resilience and acceptance; turning the focus from the self to the other; from wanting to giving; from a sense of neediness to a sense of productiveness.

Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling.  (74)

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“I stood Yesterday – I can stand today”.  Dorothy Dix (75)

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Counselling and coaching work:

The solution to your problem is here! 

 

Our services are organized as follows:

Dr Jim Byrne's counselling and psychotherapy service, in Hebden Bridge, and all over the world:

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I counsel people with problems of angeranxietydepressionstressself-confidence / self-esteemcouple conflict and relationship skills.

The system of counselling that I use is called Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT).

I offer face-to-face counselling in Hebden Bridge.

Plus Telephone Counselling all over the world.

Or Online counselling, using Skype and connected webcameras. 

And Email Counselling for those with good English writing ability. 

...more... 

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Renata Taylor-Byrne's Coaching and counselling service, in Hebden Bridge

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In a nutshell, I offer: Listening and clarification of problems; clarification of goals; identification of goal-achieving strategies;

application of problem-solving models; insights into how to be healthier, happier and more productive in the world;

coaching and counselling in how to be more self-assertive, more effective at managing stress, and more successful in communication and negotiation contexts, including public performances and presentations.

...more... 

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Self-help resource packs – A quick, efficient and low cost approach to personal development; or how to become your own counsellor

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On this page you will find a number of self-help resource packs. Subjects include: anger management; reducing anxiety; overcoming depression; how to meditate; and others.

These resource packs have been designed to help you to solve your own problems; to become your own coach/counsellor.

The advantage of this approach to you is that it is very low cost; you do not have to travel to see me; and - as far as possible - I give you the same quality of answers to your questions that you would get in a face-to-face session.

I have achieved this by using a balance of well-written text and direct video instruction/ coaching/ counselling/ mentoring.

...more...

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Books and articles by the Institute for CENT counselling...

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The Institute for Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (I-CENT) was established in March 2007 to promote the development of a new kind of integration of various systems of counselling and therapy - from REBT/CBT, through narrative therapy, object relations and attachment theory, to Zen Buddhism and Moral philosophy. 

One of the ways that this development has manifested itself is in the production of seven books and dozens of articles on this new approach to counselling and psychotherapy - including books on stress and happiness; an analysis of Albert Ellis's childhood and its effect upon REBT/CBT; and books and papers on how to apply the CENT approach in practice.

...more...

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CENT Counselling Courses

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The Institute for CENT, in collaboration with the ABC Coaching Academy, has been offering a range of counselling courses for many years.

Initially, we mainly offered the Primary Certificate in Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy; the certificate in Supreme Self Confidence; and the certificate in Stress Management.  

At the moment we are mainly promoting a range of courses that cover the range of knowledge and skills that are required to practice as an effective Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapist (CENT).

Other courses are under development, and will be announced as they become available.  See for example, the CENT CPD Certificate in Counselling Knowledge: http://www.abc-counselling.com/id79.html  

...more on CENT counselling training courses... 

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Informational Resource Packs on Counselling-related topics...
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Suitable for non-formal study of a range of topics for personal and professional development 

Our range of informational resource packs have been accessed over the years by tens of thousands of counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists; as well as students from those disciplines.  Also social workers, and social work students.  And interested individuals from all walks of life.  These packages are extremely popular modules of information, normally on one (lengthy!) web page – and including a combination of text and video inputs.

Some people like to get a certificate when they study a topic, and some like to study for the sake of learning.  If you want to get a certificate for your studying one of these resource packs, please email jim.byrne@abc-counselling.com further information about the course requirements. Or take a look at the CENT CPD Certificate in Counselling Knowledge: http://www.abc-counselling.com/id79.html  

...more on Informational Resource packs... 

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We offer a range of counselling, coaching and psychotherapy services - in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire - and all over the world via telephone counselling, email counselling and computer-webcam-links.

Our services are based upon the theory and practice of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) - which incorporates CBT counseling, depth psychology and humanistic (client centred) approaches to counselling, coaching and therapy.

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Counselling and Coaching Quotation No.2: Philosophy of counselling:

A good counsellor helps their client to think more clearly, and to process and manage their feelings better; and this can open up choices: Tom (a client) comments upon his progress: “I think I’m fundamentally less critical of myself.  I do know that I’m more aware”.

Counsellor: “That the way you were thinking trapped you?” (he) asked Tom.

Tom: “I’m more aware of what is going on behind the scenes” (in my mind). … “And that gives me a degree of choice.  When I find myself feeling hurt or depressed, I can try to decode the feeling – I can decide if it’s something I’m doing to myself or something that’s being done to me.  This gives me a way out”.

Counsellor: “When you have no choice, you’re doomed, you’re stuck in a web of reproach and self-reproach.  You have this way of thinking – a way of being – so deep in you that you can’t question it, you can’t even know it.  You just live it.  Having a choice is a very, very big liberation”.

Stephen Grosz (2014) The Examined Life: How we lose and find ourselves.  Pages 175-176. (76)

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“The toughest opponent I ever fought was worry”.  Jack Dempsey (famous boxer) (77).

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For counselling and coaching help, or for further information, please contact us today,

on 01422 843 629 (from inside the UK); or:

44 1422 843 629 (outside the UK)

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Or email jim.byrne@abc-counselling.com; or renata4coaching@btinternet.com

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If you are looking for the extensive (50-pages of) textual-visual resources that used to be on the bottom of this homepage, they have been incorporated into the new ABC Counselling Members' Club. To access that material, it is now necessary to join the members club.

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If you like the content of this site, please share it with your social networking friends (e.g. at Facebook, Bebo, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc).

Bookmark and Share 

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Principles of CENT counselling:

Here is the currently featured principle of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT):

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Ninth: From the Object Relations school, CENT takes the view that the first three phases of development of childhood can be disrupted, between birth and about the age of six years - or the first four subphases from birth to age three - resulting in specific forms of relationship dysfunction in later life. The solution to these problems tend to include a mixture of 'being with' the client in relationship; 'holding' the relationship in a suitable dialogue; helping them to make conscious and then process their un-experienced or resisted emotions; providing analysis and models as cognitive-emotive ways forward; and providing a ‘secure base’ for the client, so they can learn how to have a secure relationship, perhaps for the first time.

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The quality of the relationship between the counsellor and the client is the single most important predictor of positive outcomes in counselling practice: “Among the most consistent findings of psychotherapy outcome research is that the therapeutic relationship is vital in contributing to client progress.  Even recent technological developments in neuroscience support the importance of developing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship through activation of areas of the brain related to the attachment system…”

Lambert and Simon, in Steven Hick and Thomas Bien, Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship.  2010, page 19.  (40)

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From 'What is CENT?', by Dr Jim Byrne - Copyright 2010-2014: http://www.abc-counselling.com/id75.html

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The ABC Counselling Members’ Club

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We are pleased to offer you exclusive membership of the newly formed ABC Counselling Members’ Club, for a modest monthly fee.

Membership of this club entitles you to:

1. Unlimited access to a range of more than 20 self-help and self-study resource pages, covering subjects from ‘What is counselling?’ through ‘What is TA?’ and ‘What is REBT?’, to expert inputs on how to control anger, anxiety and depression; and many others;

2. A monthly Club Newsletter, containing valuable information and advice on various aspects of the field of counselling, psychology, psychotherapy, and self-help;

3. A monthly video presentation, by Dr Jim Byrne, on his latest thoughts, his writing, and his theories.  (These videos will never appear on YouTube – and are exclusively available to ABC Club members).

These informational pages, or packs, have been developed over a number of years through the research work of Dr Jim Byrne – and revised and updated recently - as an expression of his commitment to exploring the philosophy of psychotherapy, and to developing new and creative approaches to the integration of different systems of counselling and therapy.

For further information about this offering, please go to The ABC Counselling Members Club page.***

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Return of the Counselling Blog...

by Dr Jim Byrne, Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2013 

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I decided to restore this counselling and psychotherapy blog after thinking about the need for a direct line of communication with the readers of this website. 

I had stopped producing my blog because it took up so much of my time every week.

So, in future, it will be briefer, and leaner, and have less emphasis on visual images.

Today I have been thinking about ‘wisdom'.  What is it, and how can be it sought?  Can it be achieved?

It seems to me that we live in times of low or non-existent wisdom, as more and more individuals chase the god of money and material ‘success'.  Alcoholism and drug abuse are at all time highs, as are relationship disintegration and reports of emotional misery.

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Here's a little video log that I made this morning, on the philosophy of counselling and psychotherapy.  I think it contains some useful ideas for counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists everywhere:

To watch this video, please click THIS LINK, or 

click the screen that follows:

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Link 

The Stoics taught that we should not seek fame or fortune, because those things were beyond our control.  They would argue that we should seek to be good people, good citizens, good neighbours, good family members, and that we might reap some reward from those good efforts.  However, we are transitory beings, in a world of inevitable suffering.  Therefore, we should expect frustration and difficulty.

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For more, click this link for Jim's Counselling Blog.***

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Principles of CENT Couples Therapy:

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Here is the currently featured principle of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy for happy relationships:

9. Do you want to be ‘right’, or do you want to be ‘happy’.  Choose!  In most cases you will have to choose. It is very rare that you will be able to be consistently ‘right’ – in your disputes with your partner – and also experience long-term happiness.  Why is this so?  Because, when I say ‘I am right’, I also imply (very often) that ‘You are wrong!’  And most people are not willing to be cast in the role of “being wrong”.  (Doing a wrong thing is different from “being wrong”!)  If you make your partner “wrong”, they will not want to “play with you”!  (Sometimes you might have good reasons to support your argument, and it might be important to push your point; but all the time?)

 

    The third principle that Werner Erhard taught about relationships was this: If you want to have a really powerful relationship with somebody, you have got to stop making them wrong!  (And making them wrong means inferring that because you don’t like their ideas/values/goals/behaviours, and you can logically fault their ideas/values/goals/behaviours, that therefore they [as a whole person] are wrong [and possibly also even bad]!

For information on our Couples Therapy Self-Help Resource, please go to http://www.abc-counselling.com/id131.html

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Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy - Articles and papers

Jim-in-Harrogate-001.jpgFree Papers on Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT)

There are now 27 papers on various aspects of the theory and practice of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) available on this page.

This includes 9 papers on REBT (Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy), under the heading "The REBT birth-mark on the embryo of CENT"*** click here...

Updated: 7th July 2014: 

CENT Paper No.25 was recently added... On the subject of good and evil...

We are currently working on CENT Paper No.26, which is a review of models of mind by major theorists from Plato, through Freud, Jung, Adler, and the behaviourists, cognitive behaviourists, object relations and attachment theory, and on and on...  Watch this space; or go to http://www.abc-counselling.com/id518.html for a preview... 

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The Foundations of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) 

The main papers which laid the foundation for the development of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) were as follows:

Byrne, J. (2009/2012) What is cognitive emotive narrative therapy (CENT)?  CENT Paper No.2(a).  Updated May 2012.  Hebden Bridge: The Institute for CENT.  Brief extractCENT is defined in terms of the models of therapy used.  The CENT message to clients is this: "We deal with your emotions. We look at the connection between your thinking and your emotions; your experience and your emotions; your meanings and your emotions; your emotions and behaviours; and the stories within which you live your life. We encourage you to change your self talk; your habitual behaviours; and to work on your bodily health and the story of your life. We try to provide the best possible analysis of the potential reasons, in the basement of your mind, for your current dysfunctional thoughts-feelings-behaviours. We aim to provide a 'secure base' for you within the therapeutic relationship."  This descriptive introduction will be helpful for clients and professionals. (The June 2012 update arose out of a decision to return to the use of the Stimulus>Organism>Response model).  Pages: 7.  Available online: What is CENT counselling?***

Byrne, J. (2009) An introduction to the 'Windows Model' of CENT.  CENT Paper No.3. Hebden Bridge: The Institute for CENT. Brief extract: The Windows Model is the core model of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT).  It is predicated on ‘frame theory', which suggests that all of our perceptions are interpretative, and that our interpretations are driven by non-conscious, habit-based ‘framings' of incoming stimuli, through our senses.  The ‘frames' that we use to interpret incoming stimuli are nested sets of inferences, which are derived from past experience.  Depending upon the negativity or positivity of the frame through which you are perceiving an incoming stimulus, you will produce a correspondingly negative or positive emotional/behavioural response.  Pages: 16. Available online: The Six Windows Model of CENT counselling***

Byrne, J. (2009) The "Individual" and his/her Social Relationships - The CENTPerspective.  CENT Paper No.9.  Hebden Bridge: The Institute for CENT.  Brief extract:  This paper begins with a recapitulation of the author’s approach to rethinking the model of the human individual implicit in Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, using some of the core concepts of Freudianism to provide a structure.  Next, the text returns to Freud’s writings to review some of those concepts, and in particular to challenge Feud’s view of human sexuality.  The result is a more general view of power relations between children and parents, and emotional difficulties arising out of those conflicts, rather than through psychosexual stages of development.  The text then reviews the theory and perspective of the Object Relations school of psychology/psychotherapy.  This psychodynamic orientation sees relationship as being central to what life is about.  It is not an optional extra.  Human babies are ‘born to relate’.  Relationship is integral to the survival urges and survival strategies of humans.  Pages: 48. Available online: The roots of the 'individual' are social and relational*** 

For more, please go to the CENT Articles and Papers page.***

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Here are some video clips to help you to get a flavour of the ABC Coaching and Counselling Services approach to counselling and therapy:

1. This first clip is a brief introduction to Dr Jim Byrne, ABC Coaching and Counselling Services, and the counselling services on offer.2. In this second clip, I describe the importance of taking responsibility for your own life, as the essential foundation for any form of successful counselling process.
 

 

 
3. Here is a brief introduction to Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT), which is the form of counselling and therapy created and used by Dr Jim Byrne.  There are at least 16 videos on the 16 Counselling Videos page.4. This is Part 2 of 'What is Counselling?'  It was produced by me to update my statements about the way I think of counselling.  In particular, I mention the importance of Attachment Theory, and the counsellor being emotionally available to the client.

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Coaching and counselling quote No.3: Philosophy of counselling: 

CENT counselling advocates ‘completing our experience’ of difficulties in our lives. The sooner we face up to the pain in our lives – the difficult parts, that involve some suffering - and process it, and digest it, the sooner we can get on with the pleasant and enjoyable parts: “Delaying gratification is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure of meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with.  It is the only decent way to live”.  So wash those dishes, or fix that fence, before you flop for a coffee break!  Or go and see your counsellor, and work through your therapy session, before you plan that escape to the countryside.

M. Scott Peck (1990) The Road Less Travelled: The new psychology of love, traditional values and spiritual growth.  Page18. (78)

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Counselling clients who develop the ability to defer gratification have a much better chance of disciplining themselves to achieve their personal life goals: “Self control skills are essential for pursuing our goals successfully … They give us real choice – instead of being pushed by the immediate impulses and pressures of the moment”.

Walter Mischel, The Marshmallow Test. (79)

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Featured web pages:

Because this web site has more than 300 pages on counselling and coaching related topics, we have decided to have occasional displays of six featured web pages. Here's the first one:

Couples Therapy and Marriage GuidanceCounselling and Therapy in Hebden Bridge HX7 8HJ, West YorkshireHow Can Counselling Help?
The coaching services offered by Renata Taylor-Byrne   What is Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT)? The Institute for CENT counselling and therapy  

 

This will hopefully help visitors to find previously concealed material

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Models of mind for counsellors and psychotherapists 

On the fundamental splits and compartments in the human mind

By Dr Jim Byrne, Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, April 2014

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Plato’s Tripartite Model of Mind

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Plato’s tripartite model of the mind, or soul, is essentially quite simple.  He sees the mind as being split between competing powers, like a charioteer striving to control two conflicted horses. The charioteer is the reasoning faculty in the individual.  The more materialistic ‘horse’ is an expression of our most basic appetites, or our appetitive self.  The third element is a bit more complex.

In two of Plato’s dialogues, in which he features Socrates engaging in conversations with interested others, Plato mentions a model of the human ‘soul’ (or mind).  In this model, the mind is assumed to be split three ways; and is normally referred to as a ‘she’.  In the introduction to the Phaedrus dialogue, Plato writes:

“The soul is immortal, for she is the course of all motion both in herself and in others.  Of her true and divine form it would (take) long to tell, but she may be described in a figure as a composite being made up of a charioteer and a pair of winged steeds.  The steeds of the gods are immortal, but ours are one mortal and the other immortal…” Page 765 Plato (1999)[1].

On page 767, Plato is involved in an argument about whether a non-lover is better than a lover – where ‘lover’ means an older man lusting after a younger man (or boy). He begins by distinguishing between lovers on the basis that their approach to seeking love will be determined by the god that they follow:

“The manner in which they take love is as follows:

“I told you about the charioteer and two steeds, the one a noble animal who is guided by word and admonition only, the other an ill-looking villain who will hardly yield to blow or spur.  Together all three, who are a figure of the soul, approach the vision of love.  And now a conflict begins.  The ill-conditioner steed rushes on to enjoy, but the charioteer, who beholds the beloved with awe, falls back in adoration”.

Plato’s story is long and involved, but, reading between the lines, and reading from several sources, over a number of years, I have reduced his story of the horses and the charioteer to a simple formula.  This is how it goes: Imagine a charioteer (Reason) who has two horses as his sources of pulling power, and they often wish to pull in conflicting directions. The function of the charioteer is to control and regulate the two horses.  The first horse (Spirit or wilfulness) is represented as being black (and sometimes as a tiny image of a lion); and the second horse (Appetite or desire) is represented as being white (and sometimes as a tiny beast).  The charioteer (Reason – represented by a tiny human form) is assumed to have the best chance of being in control if s/he can form an alliance with spirit/will against appetite. (Plato 1999; and Plato 2007)[2].

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From Plato to the ABC Model:

Models of Mind for Counsellors and Psychotherapists - Part 1

A video presentation by Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling 

Dr Jim Byrne explains his rationale for working on Models of Mind.  He has found it necessary to explore these models in order to better understand the mind of the counselling client, especially those who come to him for help.  He also talks about some of the weaknesses and errors in some existing models of mind - including the idea of the "core of goodness"; and the way the ABC model leaves out of account the body of the client; their diet; physical exercise; and so on.  He talks about Freud's models, especially the Eros and Thanatos model; and Plato's tripartite model which uses the metaphor of a charioteer and two horses to describe the mind's 'agencies'.  Dr Byrne relates many of these ideas back to the theories of Dr Albert Ellis.

To view this video clip, please click on the screen image below:

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Or Click on this link.***

For information on CENT papers, please go to: http://www.abc-counselling.com/id306.html

For information about Dr Jim Byrne, please go to http://www.abc-counselling.com/id1.html  and/or

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id256.html

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For more on Plato, please click this link for New Writing on CENT Counselling.***

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Principles of CENT Anger Management Counselling

By Dr Jim Byrne

September 2014

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Anger is one of the main emotions that humans feel in certain kinds of stressful situations.  The other two are anxiety and depression.

Anger is the emotion that corresponds to the ‘fight response’ when an animal or human feels threatened, or (in the case of humans), seriously frustrated by another person, or insulted by somebody, or confronted by the bad behaviour of others.

In civilized societies, anger can be appropriate to the circumstances surrounding the angry individual, or excessive and aggressive.

In order to teach our clients how to manage their anger appropriately, we have evolved a set of principles which can help to summarize coping self-talk, and coping actions. 

Here is one such example:

Principle 4: Anger is most often a ‘false friend’. 

(In a life threatening situation, act first and think later – but most of the situations in which we become angry are far from life threatening!) 

Anger whispers in your ear that you are right and the other person is wrong; that you are being taken advantage of or abused; and the other person must be punished for this transgression.  Very often, this is not the only way to look at the situation.  But this is often a false statement!

The other person may be unaware of the fact that they are causing you a problem.  And/or: The problem they are causing you may be of a kind that you also, in your turn, unavoidably cause to other people – and you would not want them to get angry with for this act.

So don’t automatically trust the voice of anger-inducement in your ear.  Challenge it.  Ask yourself: Is this true?  Is there a better way of looking at the situation?  Will getting angry really help me in any significant way? Or will it actually make matters worse?

 

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For information about our Anger Management self-help resource pack, please go to http://www.abc-counselling.com/id84.html

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CENT Paper No.2 (a):

What is Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT)?

By Dr Jim Byrne

Copyright (c) 2009-2013/2014, Jim Byrne

(Updated 2012; 2013; and April 2014)

1. Introduction

"CENT sees humans as essentially story tellers, to ourselves and others, and storytellers who live in a world of narratives and scripts, which include reasonable and unreasonable elements, logical and illogical elements, and defensible and indefensible elements.  Humans often tend to push away (or repress) unpleasant experiences, to fail to process them, and to then become the (unconscious) victims of those repressed, undigested experiences.  CENT also sees adult relationships as being the acting out of childhood experiences with parents and siblings, because some part of those earlier relationships have not been properly digested and completed".  Extract from CENT Counselling: How to apply Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy in counselling and self-help, By Dr Jim Byrne.***

Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) is a system of counselling and psychotherapy which helps clients to work on their brain-mind-body-and-relationships in order to reduce and control negative or painful emotions and behaviours, like anger, anxiety, depression, stress, self confidence and couple conflict.

DrJim_in-Scarboro_2010c.jpgCENT integrates Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), Transactional Analysis (TA), Attachment theory, Zen Buddhist philosophy, moral philosophy, and some other cognitive, narrative and dynamic therapies. And CENT goes beyond those systems, to create some original cognitive-emotive techniques, models and perspectives.

CENT is not an eclectic system which has merely bolted elements of different counselling systems together.  It is a truly integrative system which began by revisiting the basic model of the human personality developed by Sigmund Freud and asking: How does this model link up with the ABC model?  What are the necessary implications of assuming that there is substantial truth in both models?  The same process was conducted with Transactional Analysis and cognitive science.  The resulting model was then compared with the implications of the Object Relations School.  Moral philosophy and Zen Buddhism were also interrogated in this process of model building.  That work of model building is described in Papers No.1(a)[1] and No.9[2].

~~~

In CENT counselling, we define ‘feeling’ as innate, and ‘emotion’ as a socio-cultural product of experience: “The terms ‘feeling’ and ‘emotion’, and ‘affect’ are used in many different senses in psychology.  A review of more than twenty theories of emotion reveals a plethora of widely diverging technical definitions.  These vary with the technique of investigation, the general theoretical framework, and the value-judgements of the psychologist.  Often, they are so diverse as to defy comparison let alone synthesis”.  Therefore, in CENT, we follow Sarbin in defining feeling as innate, and emotion as ‘narrative emplotment’ arising out of cumulative, interpretive, social experience.  Because emotion is narrativized, it can be changed in a therapeutic conversation.

Robert F. Hobson, Forms of Feeling: The heart of psychotherapy, Page 88. (10)

~~~ 

Before that system of integration of models was begun, I had studied thirteen different systems of counselling and therapy, including: Freud and Jung, Rogers and Perles, Behaviour Therapy theory and practice, Cognitive Therapy and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, Reality Therapy and Transactional Analysis, Existential Therapy and Logotherapy, Multimodal Therapy and Cognitive-Humanistic Therapy; and also committed myself to the proposition that all systems of counselling and therapy that are designed to be therapeutic are broadly equivalent in terms of the outcomes achieved for the client, as argued by Wampold (2001)[3], and Messer and Wampold (2000)[4].

CENT evolved in phases.  1968 to 1980 was a kind of incubation of some core ideas, triggered by a partial Freudian analysis, combined with art therapy, music therapy, relaxation therapy, group therapy, and some others.  And 1980 to 1998 involved active exploration of various systems of therapy and self development (including Gestalt and Psychosynthesis, and autogenic training).  Then, 1999 to 2007 saw an intensification of thinking and learning about the core elements of the thirteen systems mentioned above.  And finally, over the past six year period - of developing and applying the emerging CENT model - a basic theory of human personality and psychological disturbance emerged.

For a brief video input, click the screen below, or click this link.*** 

Dr-Jims-office.jpg 

Viewer Comments:

1. "This is absolutely excellent!!! I would like to learn (this system) or read a book about this model". - Taski, via YouTube. 28th December 2011

2. "This dude's amazing (and I) totally love his work". - PsychologyLover93

3.  "Wow, Dr, Jim...  Maybe you'll finally be the one to create a unified theory of psychology, or at least progress the development of one. That's what the field needs". - Fritz - By Dr Fritz Hershey - Psychologists in Private Practice - LinkedIn, 4th March 2014

~~~

This is the best book to begin to read on the foundations of CENT, and how it is applied in practice:

 

Cover.77.jpgCENT e-book No.2: CENT Counselling: How to apply Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy in Counselling and Self-help, by Dr Jim Byrne

This is a popular introduction to the theory and practice of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT), which is a highly effective new philosophy of life, and psychological system of therapy.

This book was designed to answer the most common questions asked by counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists, counselling and therapy students, counselling and therapy clients, and self-help enthusiasts, about the nature of CENT: how to learn it; and how to apply it in practice, to individual counselling, couple's therapy, and self management.

The main aim is to demonstrate CENT counselling in practice; and in the process you will learn something about how to integrate and apply CBT/REBT, Transactional Analysis (TA), Attachment Theory, Object Relations and Zen philosophy and Moral philosophy.

For further information on this bookplease click here.

~~~

 To continue reading about CENT counselling, please click the following link for What is CENT? 

~~~ 

Resource 11 - How to control your anger...

by Dr Jim Byrne

A holistic approach to anger management self-help, which is quick and simple 

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne at ABC Coaching Publications, 2009-2013. All rights reserved.

~~~  

Dr-Jims-office.jpg

Hello,

I’m Doctor Jim Byrne.  I’m a Doctor of Counselling, with more than 15 years’ experience of helping people with all kinds of emotional problems – including problems with anger management and the control of inappropriate aggressive urges.

I established my expertise in anger management by studying the literature of the field, and also by helping hundreds of individuals to become much less angry, and much better communicators.

Now I want to help you!

~~~ 

Welcome to the Anger Management self-help page

# Are you suffering from a lack of control over your anger?

# Do you 'explode' or 'implode' - damaging your relationships and/or your happiness?

# Have you damaged your relationships at home or at work?

# Or are you simply feeling pretty miserable much of the time, because of sulky anger?

If you are determined to control your anger, and you can see that it costs you more than you gain from allowing yourself to act angrily, then I can help you. 

In this self-help resource pack, you will find a number of insights into the nature of anger, so you can understand your anger better; a number of techniques to control and reduce your anger; and a few video clips which clarify some of the key points for you.

~~~

Here's a little  video clip on How to control your anger, which you can download to your computer and watch it there:

Anger-management-video2.jpg 

 To download this video, please click the screen image above, or CLICK THIS LINK.***

~~~ 

My approach to anger management is a fusion of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT/CBT), Transactional Analysis (TA), Attachment Theory, Zen Buddhism, and a number of other therapies and philosophies which work particularly well together.  I have integrated all these systems into a new system of therapy which I call Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT).

~~~ 

For more, please go to How to control your anger.***

~~~ 

CENT PAPER No.3: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ‘WINDOWS MODEL' OF COGNITIVE EMOTIVE NARRATIVE THERAPY

Copyright © Dr Jim Byrne, 2009 (Updated 14th October 2010 - Reposted on 28th April 2014)

1. Introduction

We do not see with our eyes so much as with our brains.  Eyes are part of the machinery of perception, but the decisions about ‘what it is' that we see are not made by our eyes.  Those decisions are made by our ‘stored experiences' driving our ‘judgements'.  We do not see ‘external events' so much with our eyes then as we see them through ‘frames of reference and interpretation' which were created in the past, and which we now implement as habit-based stimulus-response pairings.  Or we could call these responses ‘pattern matching' processes.  "I've seen this stimulus (or ‘external event') before.  This (particular interpretation) is the sense I made of it last time.  So that is how I will relate to it this time".

The Windows Model is the core model of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT).  It is predicated on ‘frame theory', which suggests that all of our perceptions are interpretative, and that our interpretations are driven by habit-based ‘framings' of incoming stimuli, through our senses.  The ‘frames' that we use to interpret incoming stimuli are nested sets of inferences, which are derived from past experience.  Depending upon the negativity or positivity of the frame through which you are perceiving an incoming stimulus, you will produce a correspondingly negative or positive emotional/behavioural response. Here is a brief introduction to this concept in the form of an animated video clip:

 redumdant-female.1.jpg

 This video clip can be viewed at YouTube using the following link:

Introduction to the Six Windows Model of CENT Counselling 

These insights underpin the EFR model of CENT, as follows:

E = Event or Experience.

F = Framing (of this event or experience), based on past experience.

R = Response (being emotional and behavioural).

To change undesirable responses (Rs), we need to change the way we frame (F) our experiences (Es).

I developed this model over a period of three or so years, beginning with a Four Windows model, and gradually expanding it to Six Windows.  (More recently, while working on a new book on Anger Management, I have expanded the system, so there are now three sets of windows: The Brown Windows, which will be reivewed below; the Blue Windows and the Red Windows, which will be described in my Anger Management book in due course).

...For more, click the following link to go to The Six Windows Model of CENT Counselling.***

~~~ 

Featured video No.1: On counselling and psychotherapy, and related subjects:

Humans are creatures of habit.  Once we develop a set of beliefs, we tend to gather towards us evidence that supports those beliefs, and to push away evidence that undermines those beliefs.  (This is 'the confirmatory bias', in the words of Dr Daniel Kahneman, in his impressive work, 'Thinking Fast and Slow'.)  In this way we become deluded and prejudiced, and biased towards a particular set of beliefs – a particular story or narrative.

In this series of 'featured videos', I want to explore some issues that are relevant to counsellors and counselling clients, including the nature of wisdom, how to become wiser, how to think better, emotional intelligence, and similar subjects.

Here is a quote that helps to indicate the value of continuing to seek wisdom, and to continue to seek an understanding of what wisdom is:

“Wisdom means keeping a sense of the fallibility of all our views and opinions, and of the uncertainty and instability of the things we most count on”.  Gerald Brennan.

Today, I will continue this series of videos by offering you one of my own video-logs:

From Plato to the ABC Model:

Models of Mind for Counsellors and Psychotherapists - Part 1

A video presentation by Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling 

Dr Jim Byrne explains his rationale for working on Models of Mind.  He has found it necessary to explore these models in order to better understand the mind of the counselling client, especially those who come to him for help.  He also talks about some of the weaknesses and errors in some existing models of mind - including the idea of the "core of goodness"; and the way the ABC model leaves out of account the body of the client; their diet; physical exercise; and so on.  He talks about Freud's models, especially the Eros and Thanatos model; and Plato's tripartite model which uses the metaphor of a charioteer and two horses to describe the mind's 'agencies'.  Dr Byrne relates many of these ideas back to the theories of Dr Albert Ellis.

To view this video clip, please click on the screen image below:

DrJimforWoundedPsych1.jpg

Or Click on this link.***

For information on CENT papers, please go to: http://www.abc-counselling.com/id306.html

For information about Dr Jim Byrne, please go to http://www.abc-counselling.com/id1.html  and/or

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id256.html

~~~

Counsellors who engage in regular meditation may be able to be more helpful to their clients, by being more attuned to them: “Bishop (and others, 2004) report that in a mindful state, (counselling) practitioners are better able to observe thoughts, feelings, and sensations dispassionately and without attachment.  This dispassionate state of self-observation, according to Bishop (and others), may introduce a delay between one’s perceptions and response.  Mindfulness (including meditation – JWB) may therefore enable practitioners to respond to situations more reflectively”. 

Steven Hick and Thomas Bien, Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship.  2010, page 15.  (1)

~~~ 

 Principles of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) – 3

A_Wounded_Psychother_Cover_for_Kindle.jpg

Albert Ellis, the creator of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) was keen to argue that childhood experience has little or no effect upon the personality of the individual.  He had a naïve view of the individual counselling client as being both conscious and free to choose their own beliefs and actions, unconstrained by the past.  (I have done an analysis of Ellis's childhood, and found the source of his own attachment problems which led pretty well inevitably to his theory of psychotherpay.  See: The Childhood of Albert Ellis.***)

In CENT we do not make those mistakes.  Our principle number 3 says:

“…, the first five or six years of life are taken to be determinants of what kind of life the individual will live.  Very largely, the narratives, scripts and frames that the child learns and forms during this period – which manifests in the form of moods and emotional states, expectations, beliefs and habitual patterns of behaviour - will determine its trajectory through life, all other things being equal.  There is, of course, some degree of malleability of the human mind, and so what was once shaped badly (by relationship experiences) can to some extent be reshaped into a better form by subsequent ‘curative experiences’, with a love partner or with a counsellor or psychotherapist.”

One of the ways that we apply this principle is to help clients with particularly bad childhood experiences to both write the story of what they know of their childhood, so they can ‘complete those experiences’, and also we help them to ‘cut the ties’ to parents who were not ‘good enough’.  See these two papers:

Byrne, J. (2010) The Story of Relationship: Or coming to terms with my mother (and father).  CENT Paper No.10.  Hebden Bridge: The Institute for CENT.  Available online: http://www.abc-counselling.com/id202.html

Byrne, J. (2011) Completing your experience of difficult events, perceptions and painful emotions.  CENT Paper No.13.  Hebden Bridge: The Institute for Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy.  Available online: http://www.abc-counselling.com/id356.html

And of course, we also serve as parent-substitutes and good attachment objects for our counselling clients, in the beginning of therapy; progressing towards being supportive and informative companions towards the end of therapy.

~~~

 

A new book on the childhood of Albert Ellis and the impact of his suffering on the shape of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)

A_Wounded_Psychother_Cover_for_Kindle.jpg‘A Wounded psychotherapist’ is the latest book by Dr Jim Byrne.  It is an analysis of both the childhood of Dr Albert Ellis (the creator of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy [REBT]), and how some of those childhood experiences most likely gave rise to certain features of his later philosophy of psychotherapy.  If you have ever wondered what the roots of REBT might have been, then this is the book for you.  it explores the childhood difficulties of Albert Ellis, and links those difficulties forward to the ways in which REBT was eventually shaped.  It also identified the strengths and weaknesses of REBT, and proposes an agenda for reform of this radical system of psychotherapy.To read more, please go to: A Wounded Psychotherapist: Albert Ellis’s childhood and the strengths and limitations of REBT.***

 

 

Q&A Mini-paper No.C101

An Introduction to Counselling

by Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, University of Manchester

8th October 2013      

Preface

This mini-paper includes a reflective review of Chapter 1 of a specific book on counselling, which is commonly used in counsellor training.  Here are the book's details:

McLeod, John (2003) An Introduction to Counselling.  Third Edition.  Buckingham: Open University Press. Pages 1-19.

Introduction

Dr McLeod's seventeen page introduction is, in my opinion, slightly too long and detailed to be optimally useful for getting a quick overview of the answer to the question: What is counselling?

I have therefore boiled it down to four pagesin an effort to distil the essence of Dr McLeod's message.  I began by taking notes and then thinking through the various elements of his presentation, to arrive at an optimal structure for my presentation of his insights and conclusions. 

Next, I wrote a four page summary of his chapter; and then boiled that summary down to the following one-paragraph summary.

(I also answered some of the post text questions and sub-questions, and I have appended them at the end of this mini-paper).

WHAT IS COUNSELLING (VIDEO CLIP):

Click the link above, or the screen below, to view this video clip

Jim-for-intro-couns.jpg

Brief summary

Counselling is a process which begins when a person (the client) approaches a professionally trained person (the counsellor) for help with a problem of everyday living.  The counsellor actively listens and works collaboratively with the client to help the client to arrive at a satisfactory resolution of their problem.  That covers the person centred approach.  To adequately cover the two other major schools of thought in counselling, we must also add: A psychodynamic counsellor will look for the roots of the client's problems in their early childhood experiences (as well as how the handle their current thinking, feeling and behaviour) - and help them to digest previously undigested experiences.  On the other hand, a cognitive-behavioural counsellor will look for the roots of the client's problem in their current approach to thinking and behaving in response to their environment - and encourage them to change their system of beliefs about troublesome aspects of their environment.

...End of extract.

~~~

For more, go here: What is counselling, and how is it done?***

~~~

Counselling and coaching quotation No.4: Strike while the iron is hot!

The quality of the relationship between the counsellor and the client is the single most important predictor of positive outcomes in counselling practice: “Among the most consistent findings of psychotherapy outcome research is that the therapeutic relationship is vital in contributing to client progress.  Even recent technological developments in neuroscience support the importance of developing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship through activation of areas of the brain related to the attachment system…”

Lambert and Simon, in Steven Hick and Thomas Bien, Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship.  2010, page 19.  (7)

~~~ 

~~~

ABC Coaching & Counselling Services, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/index.html

 

 

What is Counselling?
 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id79.html

 

 

About Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id1.html

 

 

Counselling and Therapy in Hebden Bridge HX7 8HJ, West Yorkshire 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id87.html

 

 

Couples Therapy and Marriage Guidance 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id131.html

 

 

Information Pack regarding Jim Byrne's face-to-face counselling services... 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id71.html

 

 

How Can Counselling Help?
 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id81.html

 

 

16 videos on counselling
 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id212.html

 

 

Counselling Research
 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id134.html

 

 

Jim's Counselling Week: A counsellor blogs 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id514.html

 

 

Telephone Counselling
 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id91.html

 

 

Email Counselling - with Dr Jim Byrne 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id92.html

 

 

The five main counselling services
 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id2.html

 

 

Seven counselling specialisms 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id201.html

 

 

The ABC Coaching Division 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id411.html

 

 

About Renata Taylor-Byrne
 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id413.html

 

 

The coaching services offered by Renata Taylor-Byrne 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id414.html

 

 

Renata's  coaching fees...
 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id415.html

 

 

Contact Renata Taylor-Byrne
 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id416.html

 

 

Search this site 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id366.html

 

 

What is #Cognitive #Emotive #Narrative #Therapy (CENT)? 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id75.html

 

 

The Institute for CENT counselling and therapy 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id112.html 

 

 

Quick Intro to the Six Windows Model of CENT counselling 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id255.html

 

 

CENT Paper No.3: An Introduction to the Six Windows Model of CENT counselling 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id174.html

 

 

I-CENT Publications: articles, papers and books on counselling related topics 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id228.html

 

 

How to apply CENT in counselling and self-help: an ebook 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id274.html

 

 

Chapter 1: What is CENT?
 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id276.html

 

 

Some questions and answers about CENT counselling 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id180.html

 

 

What is Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)? 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id126.html

 

 

About Dr Albert Ellis - Creator of REBT Counseling 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id140.html

 

 

Misunderstandings about the simple A>B>C model of REBT counselling

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id155.html

 

 

The ABCs of REBT applied to Anxiety 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id151.html

 

 

The Complex ABC Model of REBT counselling and therapy 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id184.html

 

 

Debating and disputing irrational beliefs in REBT counselling practice 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id156.html

 

 

REBT and Research 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id113.html

 

 

Who Controls You? An article about the ABCs of REBT, by Wayne Froggatt 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id157.html

 

 

The Essence of REBT, by Dr Albert Ellis 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id158.html

 

 

E: An effective new philosophy for counselling clients

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id159.html

 

 

Asking the counselling client for a problem to work on... 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id160.html

 

 

What is Transactional Analysis, and how is it used in CENT counselling? 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id262.html

 

 

#Transactional #Analysis #counselling (TA), and Reality Therapy 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id329.html

 

 

A Story of Origins - by Dr Jim Byrne - Applied narrative therapy in therapeutic writing

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id166.html

 

 

CENT Paper No.5: The Status of Autobiographical Narratives and Stories in CENT writing therapy 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id167.html

 

 

CENT Paper No.6: How to analyze autobiographical narratives in CENT writing therapy 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id173.html

 

 

CENT Paper No.10: My Story of Relationship Attachment - or how I came to terms with my mother 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id202.html

 

 

Narrative Therapy - What is the CENT approach to narrative counselling? 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id367.html

 

 

Narrative Therapy & Writing Therapeutic Narratives 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id271.html

 

 

How to meditate - A brief introduction 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id260.html

 

 

Zen Buddhist ideas used in CENT counselling 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id311.html

 

 

Meditation can reduce stress and combat depression... 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id261.html

 

 

Zen Tigers and Strawberry Moments 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id172.html

 

 

Counselling processes need the support of Attachment theory... 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id292.html

 

 

About David Wallin's book: 'Attachment in Psychotherapy' 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id243.html

 

 

Counselling needs the support of physical exercise: reviewing the benefits 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id373.html

 

The ABC Coaching Division 

My name is Renata Taylor-Byrne, and I offer personal performance coaching to individuals who are looking for effective support in achieving their goals - whether at work or at home. 

To begin with, I want to present a two-minute video clip which helps to clarify the answer to the question: 'What is Coaching?'  I will then move on to describe the kinds of help that I offer.

~~~

What is Coaching? A video clip by Renata Taylor-Byrne:

What_is_coaching_1.jpg

 

Click the image above, or click the following link to see this video clip at YouTube: What is Coaching.***

~~~

For more information on the ABC Coaching Division, please go here: The ABC Coaching Division***

~~~

Coaching and counselling quotation No.5: Self care and self coaching:  

Counselling is essentially about talking through your problems; exploring the practicalities, the possibilities, the interpretations and the scope for change: “At the heart of any form of counselling ismaking a space to talk it through.  This phrase is offered as a kind of touchstone … and operates as a reminder of what the role of counselling actually is in relation to the troubles that people experience…”

Quotation from: John McLeod, 2007, Counselling Skill, page 3. (74).

~~~

 

 ~~~

The ABC Counselling Division

Hello, and welcome to my counselling services page

Jim.Nata.Couples.pg.jpgMy name is Dr Jim Byrne.

I have more than fifteen years experience of counselling individuals and couples, in the UK and all over the world (as at 5th January 2014).

During that time, I have helped more than 780 clients to produce significant improvements in their lives: See Unsolicited Client Testimonials.

I am a trained, experienced and accredited counsellor and psychotherapist.

~~~

For further information, please go to The ABC Counselling Division.*** 

~~~ 

...back to top... 

~~~

A good counsellor is a lifelong learner: "Studying theories of counselling and therapy is both an intellectual undertaking and a personal journey.  All people develop a set of ideas, albeit not fully articulated, about how people become the way they are, how they stay the way they are - often at a great personal cost - and how they can change.  As a counselling and therapy student you are challenged to develop a more thorough and accurate theory of human behaviour so that you can help clients more.  However, when reviewing these theoretical approaches you will find yourself applying the concepts to yourself and testing whether they have validity for helping you to become happier and more fulfilled.  Thus, the fruits of your studying counselling and therapy approaches will become manifest in how you influence both clients' biographies and your own autobiography". 

Richard Nelson-Jones, Theory and Practice of Counselling and Therapy, 2001. (2)

 

~~~ 

 

 

Principles of CENT Counselling – No.6

DrJim_in-Scarboro_2010c.jpg

Human behaviour is largely shaped by the influences, subtle and course, of the social environment.  The vaunted ‘individual’ of western ideology is actually a social product of a social relationships, and always and only has a social mind – made up of three parts: the innate, physical and emotional part; the internalized social part (from mother and others); and the resulting social-ego (or socialised sense of self).

This idea of the primacy of the social environment is enshrined in Principle No.6 of CENT theory:

“Sixth: Throughout the whole of the life of the individual, the external environment will continue to exert an impact on the moods and emotions of the individual. Only the most highly trained and committed Stoic or Zen practitioner could ever come close to ignoring (or being largely unaffected by) their external environment!  Indeed, only a rock, or lump of wood, or other inanimate object, ever achieves complete indifference to its environment.”

And it is not just the moods and emotions of the individual that are shaped by the cues and pressures of their social environment, but also their moral (and/or immoral) behaviour.

the-lucifer-effect.jpg

Indeed, there is a good deal of psychological research on the tendency of the individual to conform to group pressures (Solomon Ashe, 1951:http://www.simplypsychology.org/asch-conformity.html); and obeyauthority figures (Milgram, 1963:http://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html, and Zimbardo, 1973:http://www.simplypsychology.org/zimbardo.html).

Dr Albert Ellis, the creator of REBT, was quite wrong to think that the individual’s ‘belief system’ was the dominant factor in determining how a person felt and acted.  The dominant factor is the impact of the current social environment upon the habit-based, socialized individual.

Any attempt to help an individual based on Dr Ellis’s approach can only hope to achieve partial and limited effects!

“Throughout the whole of the life of the individual, the external environment will continue to exert an impact on the moods and emotions of the individual”. Dr Jim Byrne, 2010/2014.

~~~

See this paper on the development of the social individual:

Byrne, J. (2009) The “Individual” and its Social Relationships – The CENT Perspective.  CENT Paper No.9.  Hebden Bridge: The Institute for CENT Studies. Available online: http://www.abc-counselling.com/id185.html 

~~~

 

 

Accepting and learning from our problems 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id76.html

 

 

Philosophy, Happiness and Success 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id77.html

 

 

Maps of Halifax and Hebden Bridge and route planner: 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id13.html

 

 

Contact Dr Jim Byrne 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id4.html

 

 

Contact Renata Taylor-Byrne 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id416.html

 

 

Confidence Coaching 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id132.html

 

 

Kulchie Kid: Growing up in a crazy culture, by Daniel O'Beeve... 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id371.html

 

 

Counselling for Chronic Pain 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id368.html

 

 

Stress and anxiety diet used in CENT counselling 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id269.html

 

 

Contact Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling 

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id162.html

 

 

Contact Renata Taylor-Byrne, Personal Performance Coach

http://www.abc-counselling.com/id416.html

 

 

Schedules of Fees for counselling services

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The temporary Hebden Bridge location... 

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A Philosophy of Life
 

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Anger Document No.1
 

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Insight on Time Management 

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E: An effective new philosophy for counselling clients 

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Assessment and teaching in REBT counselling

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Beyond REBT - The birth of CENT 

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What is Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT)?

By Dr Jim Byrne - Copyright (c) 2009-2013, Jim Byrne

1. Introduction

"CENT sees humans as essentially story tellers, to ourselves and others, and storytellers who live in a world of narratives and scripts, which include reasonable and unreasonable elements, logical and illogical elements, and defensible and indefensible elements.  Humans often tend to push away (or repress) unpleasant experiences, to fail to process them, and to then become the (unconscious) victims of those repressed, undigested experiences.  CENT also sees adult relationships as being the acting out of childhood experiences with parents and siblings, because some part of those earlier relationships have not been properly digested and completed".  Extract from CENT Counselling: How to apply Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy in counselling and self-help, By Dr Jim Byrne.***

Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) is a system of counselling and psychotherapy which helps clients to work on their brain-mind-body-and-relationships in order to reduce and control negative or painful emotions and behaviours, like anger, anxiety, depression, stress, self confidence and couple conflict.

DrJim_in-Scarboro_2010c.jpgCENT integrates Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), Transactional Analysis (TA), Attachment theory, Zen Buddhist philosophy, moral philosophy, and some other cognitive, narrative and dynamic therapies. And CENT goes beyond those systems, to create some original cognitive-emotive techniques, models and perspectives.

CENT is not an eclectic system which has merely bolted elements of different counselling systems together.  It is a truly integrative systemwhich began by revisiting the basic model of the human personality developed by Sigmund Freud and asking: How does this model link up with the ABC model?  What are the necessary implications of assuming that there is substantial truth in both models?  The same process was conducted with Transactional Analysis and cognitive science.  The resulting model was then compared with the implications of the Object Relations School.  Moral philosophy and Zen Buddhism were also interrogated in this process of model building.  That work of model building is described in Papers No.1(a)[1] and No.9[2].

Before that system of integration of models was begun, I had studied thirteen different systems of counselling and therapy, including: Freud and Jung, Rogers and Perles, Behaviour Therapy theory and practice, Cognitive Therapy and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, Reality Therapy and Transactional Analysis, Existential Therapy and Logotherapy, Multimodal Therapy and Cognitive-Humanistic Therapy; and also committed myself to the proposition that all systems of counselling and therapy that are designed to be therapeutic are broadly equivalent in terms of the outcomes achieved for the client, as argued by Wampold (2001)[3], and Messer and Wampold (2000)[4].

CENT evolved in phases.  1968 to 1980 was a kind of incubation of some core ideas, triggered by a partial Freudian analysis, combined with art therapy, music therapy, relaxation therapy, group therapy, and some others.  And 1980 to 1998 involved active exploration of various systems of therapy and self development (including Gestalt and Psychosynthesis, and autogenic training).  Then, 1999 to 2007 saw an intensification of thinking and learning about the core elements of the thirteen systems mentioned above.  And finally, over the past six year period - of developing and applying the emerging CENT model - a basic theory of human personality and psychological disturbance emerged.

Viewer Comments:

1. "This is absolutely excellent!!! I would like to learn (this system) or read a book about this model". - Taski, via YouTube. 28th December 2011

2. "This dude's amazing (and I) totally love his work". - PsychologyLover93

~~~

...End of extract.  For more, go here: What is CENT counselling?***

 

...back to top...  

~~~ 

~~~

Good enough counsellors provide a healing relationship for their counselling clients: How can counselling relationships help the client to grow and have better relationships in the real world?  “In the world according to Bowlby, our lives, from the cradle to the grave, revolve around intimate attachments.  Although our stance toward such attachments is shaped most influentially by our first relationships, we are also malleable.  If our early involvements have been problematic, then subsequent relationships can offer second chances, perhaps affording us the potential to love, feel, and reflect with the freedom that flows from secure attachment.  (Counselling and) psychotherapy, at its best, provides just such a healing relationship”.

Dr David Wallin, Attachment in Psychotherapy, 2007, page 1 (3)

 

~~~ 

 

 

How to become an effective Rational/Cognitive counsellor/therapist (CBT and Reformed-RET for a post-Ellis world)

Dr Jim Byrne

24th August 2013 (Update 18th September)

ABC-Logo7.JPG

Classical REBT was created by Dr Albert Ellis, beginning in the period 1953-1962, when he wrote a series of papers which were later published as Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy (1962).  But even after that publication, REBT continued to be revised and refined, as more and more problems, issues, resistances, difficulties, and new ideas were encountered.

In the late 1990s, a new series of videos, the Master Therapist series, began to emerge from the Albert Ellis Institute, in which it was argued that not everybody had to do REBT the way Dr Ellis did; and the most notable feature of that series was Dr Janet Wolfe actually offering TLC (tender loving care) to one of her clients[1].  This was unheard of in Dr Ellis's work, as he tended to be cool and detached (having a pretty extreme avoidant attachment style).

Despite this series of videos declaring, in effect, that ‘a thousand blossoms should be able to bloom', it probably continued to be the case that REBT was dominated by the personality of Dr Albert Ellis, who, in his autobiography, written in 2006-07 and published in 2010, three years after his death, wrote that, in a certain sense, he was REBT, and REBT was him.

A_Wounded_Psychother_Cover_for_Kindle.jpgThis is one of the central problems of REBT, because Dr Albert Ellis was a ‘wounded psychotherapist' - See my book, A Wounded Psychotherapist: Albert Ellis's childhood, and the strengths and limitations of REBT.***

Because of his psychological wounds, arising out of his dysfunctional family of origin, Dr Ellis built several serious flaws into REBT, which have to be removed to make the system both sensible and safe for clients and the wider world.  Thus we arrive at a period in history where we present two forms of REBT:

1. Classical REBT, as largely formulated and shaped by Dr Albert Ellis;

and:

2. Reformed REBT, as largely formulated and shaped by Dr Jim Byrne.

The useful and accurate elements of Classical REBT should still be studied, but students and practitioners should also take into account the CENT critique of Classical REBT.  That combination is what is offered on this new page:

Classical REBT with some Reformed Elements

If you want to study this combination, then you have come to the right page.

DrJim_in-Scarboro_2010c.jpgI have been compiling and updating this extensive resource on REBT since 1999, and it contains most of the main features of classical REBT; from the ABC model, through the four forms of irrational beliefs, to the process of disputation, to the resultant effective new philosophy. 

I also add links to a number of videos which illustrate various aspects of the theory and practice of Classical REBT; plus some links to books; and some links to CENT papers which critique some aspects of Classical REBT.

~~~

This very popular and highly valued learning resource actually consists of a 13,000-word description of the essence of classical REBT theory and practice; supported by 17 video clips.  There is also a comprehensive REBT Workbook, linked to two videos and two PowerPoint presentations.  And there are also links to recommended books and papers/articles, and academic assignments, on counselling and therapy.

~~~


[1] Wolfe, J. (1997) Woman coping with depression and anger over teenagers' behaviour.  A video recording: Master Therapists: Live Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy Sessions.  New York: Albert Ellis Institute. 

~~~ 

Introductory video clip about this page on REBT.  This video clip was recorded back in July 2009, but still gives an accurate indication of the content of this page:

JBs_intro_to_REBT_page.jpg

Click the screen above, or click on the following link: Brief introduction to REBT page.***

~~~

...End of extract.  To continue reading this page, please go to How to become an effective rational/cognitive therapist.***

~~~

Writing therapy: Writing about your problems, in a diary or journal, can help you to process them and resolve them: “Diarists reported better moods and fewer moments of distress than non-diarists.  Those, in the same study, who kept a journal following trauma or bereavement also reported fewer flashbacks, nightmares and unexpected difficult memories.  Writing can itself be an act of emotional processing so it can help in many situations of danger, extremity and loss of control.  People who keep diaries are admitted to hospital less often and spend fewer days there than those who do not (keep a journal)…”

Philippa Perry, How to Stay Sane (2012). (3b)

 

~~~

 

 

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~~~  

How to understand and apply Transactional Analysis (TA) in everyday situations.

by Dr Jim Byrne

24th August 2013

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2009-2013

Introduction

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Sigmund Freud created the insight that the human individual has three main components to their personality or being.  These are: (1) the part that was born (the body-mind, or the ‘it'); (2) The internalized others (mainly mother and father, etc; which he called the over-I); and (3) The socialized personality (which he called the I: which Anglicized psychoanalysis called ‘the ego').

Freud's system of psychoanalysis was slow and difficult, and involved trying to externalize the contents of the non-conscious part of the mind of the patient/client.

Eric Berne was an American medical doctor and trained psychiatrist, who, at the end of the Second World War, was interested in finding ways of making psychoanalysis more accessible to ordinary people, in a way that was quicker and more efficient than Freud's approach.

Origins

Games_People_Play.jpgDr Eric Berne began to develop his popularized approach to psychotherapy somewhere in the 1940s when he was a US Army medical officer; but his first paper on Transactional Analysis (TA) proper did not appear until 1957 (according to Stewart, 1989)[1].  Much work was done in the 1950s and ‘60s, with Games People Play appearing in 1964; and What Do You Say After You Say Hello? appearing in 1972 (after Berne's early death in 1970).

Transactional Analysis really began when Dr Berne was working with a successful lawyer as a therapy client.  This lawyer felt very much an adult in his work, but he had an occasional tendency to say; "I'm not really a lawyer.  I'm just a little boy!"[2]  Eventually Berne realized that the lawyer operated from ‘different places', or ‘different states of the ego' - different parts of his personality.  Berne and a group of collaborators began to investigate those ‘ego states', listening to audio recordings of psychotherapy sessions, and identifying the ‘places' that the patient and the therapist were ‘transacting' from.  Out of this research/practice process came the insight that we humans operate from different ego states, depending on the external circumstances of our social encounters, and our personal life histories.


[1] Stewart, I. (1989) Transactional Analysis Counselling in Action.  London: Sage.

[2] Berne, E. (1947/1986) A Layman's Guide to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.  Page 328 (Chapter Nine, Transactional Analysis, by John M. Dusay, MD).

~~~

Here is a link to a ten minute vido introduction to TA, by Rory Lees-Oakes, outlining in particular the ego states.  It provides a good overview of the system. Please click the image that follows:

Intro-to-TA.gif

~~~

Berne focused his system mainly on the ‘I', or ‘ego', and came up with the inspired insight that each individual begins life as a child, grows and develops (through a Little Professor stage, and then a more Adult stage), and they internalize experiences of their actual parents relating to them.  In the process, all of those stages of development, and experiences, are stored in the individual's memory banks, so that we each have a Child part to our ego (or childlike-I); an Adult part to our ego (or adult-like-I); and a Parent part to our ego (or parent-like-I).

...End of extract.  To read more, please go to 'How to understand and apply TA'.***

~~~ Edit Text

 

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Understanding the mind of the counselling client:

CENT Paper No.26 on Models of Mind

Annex D1 – Primary process (or innate processing capability); non-narrativized elements of the self; and what we can learn from the approach/avoidance problem

By Dr Jim Byrne

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 17th September 2014

~~~

1. Introduction

Appendix-D2.JPG

In my 2009 paper[1] on the nature of the human individual, as conceived or hypothesized in Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT), I adopted two basic approaches to describing, illustrating or modelling the human mind.  Those two elements were as follows:

(a) Illustrations: A range of graphical models (or illustrations), which began by adding back the human body to the ABC model of REBT; and then proceeded to add back the social environment as a primary formative element of the baby’s brain-mind.  (See Figures 2 and, below).  Plus:

(b) Verbal description: A summary statement (or verbal description) of those elements that I could use to define or describe my ‘self’ (as a typical human being), based on my studies of psychology, elements of cognitive science neuroscience, and philosophy. (See Addendum 2 below).  From this statement, we can infer the nature of any human being.

In order to keep refining my own understanding of the nature of human beings, I tend to review the graphical models from time to time; and I review the ‘summary statement’, or verbal description, almost every day. 

…End of extract.

To keep reading, please go to New Writing on CENT.***

~~~


[1] Byrne, J. (2009) The ‘Individual’ and its Social Relationships - The CENT Perspective.  CENT Paper No.9.  Hebden Bridge: The Institute for CENT.  Available online: http://www.abc-counselling.com/id185.html

Blog Post No.98

Thursday 18th September 2014

The Counselling Blog: A counsellor writes about: Reading ‘Transition’; Atheist spirituality; Stoic warriors; and making some connections…

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2014

Introduction

Stoic-Warriors.jpg

This week has been extremely busy.  On Monday and Tuesday I had a race against time to complete Appendix D, and Annex D1, to CENT Paper No.26, which involved a review of some of the core models of Cognitive emotive Narrative Therapy.

In particular, I was concerned with the question of whether or not CENT had become ‘too narrative’, and thus lost sight of the degree to which humans develop non-storied (visual and kinaesthetic) memories of their important experiences.  To see how that worked out, please go to New Writing on CENT.***

…end of extract…

In my ‘spare time’ (about 30 minutes each evening, before bedtime), I have continued to read Transition, by Iain Banks.  I think it is obvious that, or Banks, this book is intended to contain some parallels to our own world, even though it is a fictional story about a multiverse that seems a long way from ours.  Occasionally, I came across a piece that stood out so much for me, that I underlined it for later consideration.  Here is one of those pieces:

Banks is describing the main world on which ‘The Transitionary’ (the hero?) lives.  It is “…a world crippled by its legacy of recent cruelties and a self-lacerating worship of the proceeds of selfishness and greed…”

…end of extract…

A couple of weeks ago, on a bright, sunny Saturday, Renata and I took ourselves off to Manchester for a day out – to wash away the cares of the week.

We had morning coffee in the café area of The Royal Exchange, in St Anne’s Square; and then proceeded to Waterstones bookshop for a browse.

I found two books which I could not resist:

The first was this: The book of Atheist Spirituality: An elegant argument for spirituality without God, by Andre Comte-Sponville.

And the second was this: Stoic Warriors: The ancient philosophy behind the military mind, by Nancy Sherman.

…end of extract…

To read this blog in full, please go to Dr Jim’s Counselling Blog Post 98.***

~~~

Counsellors must have a good model of the counselling client's mind:

Annex D2: How Freud refined Plato’s Tripartite Model of the Psyche: and Jim Byrne updated them both

By Dr Jim Byrne

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2014

25th September 2014 

Platos-Black-Horse.JPG

Introduction

There is an apparent mystery in the fact that Plato developed a tripartite (or three-part) model of the human mind, but could not satisfactorily account for the nature of the third element – the ‘Spirited’ part of the person – also called ‘the Black Horse’.

There is an equal mystery around the fact that Freud developed a tripartite model of the human mind, but in practice could operationalize only two parts: the ‘horse’ and the ‘rider’.  However, using the horse and rider model took Freud back to before Plato’s innovation; to a time in ancient India when they used the ‘elephant’ and the ‘rider’ as analogies for their understanding of the two components of the human mind.

~~~

This is how I described Plato’s model, in Appendix A:

“Plato’s tripartite model of the mind, or soul, is essentially quite simple.  He sees the mind as being split between competing powers, like a charioteer striving to control two conflicted horses. The charioteer is the reasoning faculty in the individual.  The more materialistic ‘horse’ is an expression of our most basic appetites, or our appetitive self.  The third element is a bit more complex.

“Plato’s story is long and involved, but, reading between the lines, and reading from several sources, over a number of years, I have reduced his story of the horses and the charioteer to a simple formula.  This is how it goes: Imagine a charioteer (Reason) who has two horses as his sources of pulling power, and they often wish to pull in conflicting directions. The function of the charioteer is to control and regulate the two horses.  The first horse (Spirit or wilfulness) is represented as being black (and sometimes as a tiny image of a lion); and the second horse (Appetite or desire) is represented as being white (and sometimes as a tiny beast).  The charioteer (Reason – represented by a tiny human form) is assumed to have the best chance of being in control if s/he can form an alliance with spirit/will against appetite. (Plato 1999; and Plato 2007)[1].”

Platos-tripartite-soul.gif

Plato’s model makes a lot of sense, in at least two of the elements.  We each have an appetitive part – our desire for food, drink, sex, rest, companionship, status, and so on, is beyond dispute.  We also all seem to have some capacity to reason about our goals and desires; to weigh up the pros and cons; to consider the risks; and so on.  This capacity for reason is often exaggerated, and we often fail to notice just how much we all function as creatures of habit, driven by our desires and appetites.

To those two elements are not controversial.  However, the third element is very hard to relate to relate to.

I have wrestled with this problem for some time, and recently had an insight that cuts through the Gordian knot: Plato’s epistemology prevented him seeing that what he thought of as the ‘spirited horse’ is the same element that Freud was pointing to when he talked about the ‘over-I’ – the internalized mother/father – which English translators rendered as ‘the superego’.

~~~ 

To keep reading this annex, please go to Annex D2: Freud and Plato.***

~~~ 

Blog Post No.104

24th October 2014

Dr Jim’s Counselling Blog: A counsellor blogs about spirituality and counselling

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne 2014

Introduction

Spiritiuality-and-wisdom.JPG

Making sense of life is an endless struggle for each of us as individuals, trying to find, or create, a path through our own lives.  Hopefully, the more we struggle with the Big Questions of life, the more progress we make towards becoming wise.

However, wisdom cannot be measured on any kind of objective scale, or by any kind of ‘verification process’; and one person’s wisdom may be another person’s folly.

Over the past seven years, I have been busy integrating a number of counselling, therapy, philosophy and psychology models together to form Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT): (What is CENT?)

This has been a long and lonely, and tiring process.  (See ‘New Writing on CENT’; and CENT Books and Papers).

Somewhere along the way, about a year or two ago, a colleague who likes to integrate REBT and TA; and who has a background in theology; asked me: Where does CENT stand on the question of Spirituality?

At that time, I had not developed a position on spirituality.  I have practiced Zen meditation since 1980, but as a “refugee” from Irish Catholicism, I was reluctant to look too closely at the question of ‘God’.  I had read M. Scott Peck’s book, ‘The Road Less Travelled’, liked it enormously, apart from the bits about God, which I had to skip to avoid intellectual indigestion. 

Anyway, because the question had been raised – Where does CENT stand on the question of spirituality? – I set about answering it.  This I did here: CENT Counselling and Spirituality.***

Some conclusions

thich-nhat-hanh-1.jpg

CENT has strands of Zen*** and Stoicism***, as well as elements of moral philosophy***; and Positive Psychology***; but that the CENT form of spirituality is secular.  We do not have any gods, so in that sense we are, like Zen, non-theistic rather than atheistic.  We do not seek to deny the possibility of a god or gods, but we do not advocate the seeking of, or veneration of, any god or gods.

The combined counselling and spiritual goals of CENT involve self-transformation and spiritual enlightenment; and not submission to an external authority, whether human or divine.  However, we do consider that we are inevitably and invariably social beings, dependent upon community and the natural world.  Therefore we must be both ecologically and morally conservationist - conserving and sustaining nature and the human community.

~~~

In the second part of that paper, I wrote this:

I want to introduce some ideas from Philip Sheldrake, the author of ‘Spirituality: A very short introduction'.  (Oxford University Press, 2012).  In his conclusion, Sheldrake makes three points:

"First, spirituality expresses the reflective human quest for identity and meaning beyond a purely pragmatic approach to life."

When a person is able to satisfy their basic needs for safety, security and some kind of social connection; some form of work; and so on: they are then likely to focus their minds on the meaning of life:

"Who am I?"  And "what is life all about?", are questions that often come to mind.  Pursuing those questions - plus the Platonic/ Socratic/ Stoic question, of how to live the good life - takes people into that area of contemplation called ‘the spiritual'.  It does not necessarily have to do with gods or goddesses, or afterlives or reincarnation.  But it does involve trying to find some kind of understanding of, and satisfaction with, the transitory and fragmented nature of life for a human ego.

To continue reading this blog, please go to: Dr Jim's Counselling Blog.***

~~~ 

Philosophy of counselling and psychotherapy:

Annex D3(a): Some contrasts between the psychological theories of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein and Jim Byrne (CENT) - Part 1

By Dr Jim Byrne, 27th October 2014

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, October 2014

Preface

In this document, I want to look at some differences between Freud, Klein and CENT theory.  In particular I want to explore:

Oedipus-complex.JPG

1. Sigmund Freud’s view that the father had a greater impact on the development of the child than did the mother. 

It turns out that this highly counter-intuitive conclusion came out of his theory of psychosexual stages of development, in which Freud infers that the son wants to kill his father and to marry his mother (a highly unlikely state of affairs, as a general human pattern), and that, when the father defeats the son’s sexual ambitions, the son acquires a super-ego (or set of rules from the father) and enters a period of sexual latency, until puberty. 

(Freud inferred this unlikely universal scenario from his own ‘disguised dreams’ of lusting after his own mother!)

2. Melanie Klein’s view that the mother is a more important influence on the child than is the father. 

This is intuitively obvious, because of the physical proximity of the mother and baby; the history of daily caring for the baby by the mother; and the relatively substantial absence of the father from the child’s young life.  But Klein seems to fail to fully grasp the power of the mother to affect the feelings of the child.  Instead, she focuses upon the child’s alleged tendency to create internal phantasies about internalized objects, which exist in internal tension with each other.  In this way she downgrades the significance of the external environment (in a way which parallels the later Albert Ellis’s overemphasis on the greater power of beliefs over external stimuli).

Melanie-Klein.jpg

3. Some commentators have emphasized how nice and friendly Melanie Klein was to everybody. But should we assume that Klein is thus a sensitive mothering type, who will care for her own children. 

If we do we will be mistaken; for she attributes her own sons upset and anxiety, following one of her long periods away from him, to his unaccountable phantasies, and not to his very real loss of his sense of connection to her.  And it will not be until Dr John Bowlby comes along with his attachment theory revolution, breaking away from Klein, that there is any serious advocacy of sensitive caring for children in the history of psychoanalysis. (And for his sensitive caring about children, he was ostracized for decades (!) by all the ‘real analysts’, who accused him of abandoning analysis!)

4. REBT/CBT takes us back before the time of Bowlby to a relatively insensitive approach to children; blaming them for their own upsets. 

Just as Freud and Klein saw children as being upset by their phantasies about their parents; Albert Ellis saw all human beings as upsetting themselves by their beliefs about the world, and not as the victims of the actions of others; or the ‘shape’ of the world; such as unequal power relations, class divisions, poverty, relegation to boarding school, lack of love and affection, and so on. 

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