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Plausibility Principle

Every problem is a solution (for something not yet known in the client). But not every problematical behaviour or feeling is a solution to the present situation. This is important because the question “What is this good for?” has even found use in everyday communication. If we don’t differentiate here, it can appear cynical. Who, after all, enjoys doing that which he would like to stop doing, if he is then told that, unconsciously, he does wish to do it! The principle that a plausible motive lies behind every behaviour does not mean that this is so easy to discover. It is particularly difficult then when the motives are unconscious and have established themselves as inner schemata in the client. At the same time, though, the plausibility principle also protects from the counselling trap of helping the client in wanting to ‘do away with’ the undesired behaviour or feeling. If that is the case, then the self-representations, which are supported by this problematical behaviour, would remain misunderstood and, in the counselling, the client’s old distress would be revived by the counsellor.

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