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Negating Interventions

Acceptance, on the part of the counsellor, means that he has an orientation about when he reacts with affirmation and when with negation. With negation (the second side of acceptance) he reacts to everything which runs contrary to the aim of the counselling. He does this to secure the basis for the counselling. For this he initially needs a clear counselling contract, in which the duration, costs, cancellations, rules for late arrival etc. are regulated. This has the function, in the case of difficulties, of making relationship problems less likely. What is more important, though: it needs rules which negate those old behaviour patterns of the client which are capable of destroying the counselling relationship. The client is allowed to experience everything, but he cannot do everything. Thus, the client can say that he considers the counsellor to be daft, but he is not allowed to maliciously shame him, because in the latter case he is compromising the relationship which is supposed to help him. The same applies to behaviour patterns with which the client damages himself or threatens to damage himself. Such competences on the side of the counsellor are mostly needed in psychotherapeutic contexts, but not only, for obvious reasons. Particularly in coaching, the ability to set boundaries and not to allow everything is almost just as frequently decisive for success.

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