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Process Diagnosis

Labels are for bottles, not for people (F. Staemmler). You are XYZ or red or a depressive or…? He who sticks such labels on people, reduces them to one specific aspect of their person. Implicitly he devalues them and robs them of the uniqueness of their existence. This is incompatible with the metatheoretical understanding of change. Effective counselling, therefore, does not use determinations about characteristics, but diagnoses events in the flow of time: “Ah, now you are following your inclination to doubt yourself, rather that the other person! What was the trigger for that?” or “You appear to have just tried something new, by looking at me with vulnerability in your eyes. Is that right?”. This type of diagnosis marks a moment, an updated pattern, a current event. It does not lay down how someone is, but how someone lives in the moment. Counsellors must, therefore, know a lot about what structure change processes have, and how one diagnoses and gives a name to relevant moments. In this way one can offer an understanding which fits the situation and the client and does not muddle up the word from a text book with the person, who is sitting opposite.



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