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Reflections on describing and descriptions of self-relations

The influence an individual’s perspective has on her or his
perceptions is a critical issue in the field of counselling. Counsellors are
required to maintain a considerable level of self-awareness in order not to
confuse their own experience with the experience of their client. It is
proposed that an essential component of such self-awareness includes a
knowledge of self-relations. The term self-relations implies both a self-structure
- a relatively stable developmental integration of patterns and
awarenesses - and the dynamic, shifting relationships within that self-structure.
This study addressed the question: “How do four counsellors
describe their self-relations?” The purpose of the inquiry was to gain
knowledge about a range of self-relations, from functional to problematic,
therefore counsellors who work with individuals meeting diagnostic
criteria of borderline personality disorder [BPD] were selected. Borderline
personality disorder is significant to the study in that the most commonly
cited criterion for this disorder is the experiencing of difficulties
concerning self-integration.
Following a detailed methodological description of the interview and
analysis procedures, the resulting themes are explicated. Themes emerged
from four general categories: (a) events that took place in the interview,
(b) personal themes, (c) professional issues, and (d) the interviewer’s perspective. The principal finding was the identification of an inherent correspondence between the participants’ self-relations and their
therapeutic interventions. The manner in which figurative language
constituted the individual styles of self-relations is explored.
Implications for practice include a discussion of dissociative
processes that focuses on the significant qualitative difference between
theoretical conceptions and lived experience. An exercise is included in the
appendixes that assists in the process of describing self-relations. It is
recommended that this exercise be included as a component of counsellor
education. / Graduate
Date02 June 2017
CreatorsSnell, Anita Joanne
ContributorsPeavy, Vance, Anderson, John O.
Source SetsUniversity of Victoria
LanguageEnglish, English
Detected LanguageEnglish
RightsAvailable to the World Wide Web

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