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Presence is lived acceptance. Those who are present, are in the here and now with their companion, with all senses, all feelings and all thoughts – undistracted and open. Someone who is present, though, is not only friendly and mindful, he is also clear and specific. Such a ‘state’ is an effective quality of all successful counsellors and, therefore, indispensable. At this point they have a similar obligation as a musician, actor or teacher. They, too, depend on their presence. Presence is learnable. However, like muscles, it needs a basic structure and permanent practice. Therefore, we consider it important that a counsellor seeks a field in which he can practice and cultivate presence, outside of his job. If one offers a client contact in this state, one will, without having ever spoken a word, send signals which affirm and connect with the existence and the individuality of client. It will be communicated, that when together, nothing has to be, nothing is expected, and nothing has to be achieved. This, alone, is effective for change – beyond techniques, tools and interventions. Again and again it is astonishing how much counsellors invest in procedures and action competence, and, at the same time, neglect the development of their presence. However, one may decide: “Do you make an intervention or are you one?”

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