We've been looking at important characteristics in the counselling relationship, and this month we'll look at the final one- kindness / compassion / empathy (I struggled to choose just one; while these are definitely different, I believe they share an easily identifiable common thread 🤗).
My mixed definition of these three traits?- The ability to understand and share the feelings and concern of another, while being friendly, generous, and considerate. A generally important aspect in relational wellness 🙌.
This is also vital in building strong client-counsellor relationships- when I understand your point of view, expectations and needs, we're able to build a relationship centered on authenticity and personalised support. This naturally leads to feelings of being seen, cared for and valued- so important.
While essential in the counselling relationship, practising kindness and care is also beneficial for the individual! Acts of kindness can boost feelings of confidence, happiness, optimism and enhance healthy feelings of control. Being kind and empathetic has also shown to help relieve symptoms of anxiety or depression because people are given the opportunity to shift their mental focus from possible symptoms.
As important as showing kindness, empathy and compassion to others is, it's also so essential to make a point of offering it to ourselves. Self-empathy requires us to simply notice and recognise what's happening inside of ourselves. Once we're aware, we can show ourselves the kindness that's so needed to improved wellbeing... and which, over time, leads to thriving. This is a process which takes awareness, a habit of noticing and practise 🤗
If you're wondering about or having trouble with anything mentioned above, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. You can email me here.
Warmest (especially if you're in the Southern hemisphere right now 🧣) and kindest regards,
P.S. On the topic of showing kindness to ourselves, I recently saw this timely, perfect post from Morgan Harper Nichols-