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Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Eleven Plus and Walking the Dog

“I think, my dear, that our loved daughter will need a little counselling. It looks as if she seems to be losing a little confidence. What shall we do?”

“Counselling may, possibly, be the answer. It depends who we get to work with her. After all we know that the counsellor will need to build a good relationship with Annie. I wonder if we should simply give her a bit more support with her school work and her eleven plus?”

We know that Annie has to go to the counsellor willingly – because she feels that the counsellor can help her. Some people, however, feel that building a good rapport is an essential part of counselling. The act of the counsellor in building a relationship is in itself counselling.

“Who should we get to do the counselling? I would prefer someone from her school. Do you remember the teacher she had in Year 3? She should be sympathetic to Annie’s obvious problems.”

“Yes – but some of Annie’s apparent confusion is over her eleven plus work. The teacher from school may not be able to become too involved with anything to do with the eleven plus.”

“I agree – but she knows Annie very well – and we will not need to talk too much about the eleven plus. After all Annie’s anxiety may not be caused by eleven plus preparation. All we want is the maximum assistance at this time.”

It has long been felt that the best counsellors are parents. Relationships between parents and children are not always ideal – but because parents see their children day after day and year after year it is likely that they are in the best position to appreciate and understand any problems their children may have.

Parents do not have to supply solutions. Counselling is more to do with listening and understanding.

Parents do not need to solve problems – or apply a soothing balm. There just need to `be there’ for their child.

Counselling is often seen to be a matter of setting goals. The more limited the objective is, the more likely that there will be a successful outcome.

It is not essential for the parents to be subjective in any way. There is, however, a strong need for empathy.

The most important element in the parent – child relationship, and this can not always be achieved by involving an outsider, is the need for intimacy. A little chat while walking the dog may be much better than a formal `counselling meeting’.

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