Understanding and Avoidance
Insisting upon not being able to understand something (“I am simply too stupid for this, and it must not happen to me again!”) is very effective for not changing oneself. There are clients who even consider it an imposition if, as a counsellor, one does not react with indignance to certain aspects of their person. Particularly if it is about behaviour patterns which are generally considered as problematic, such as addiction, aggressive outbursts, antisocial or illegal acts, underhandedness etc., one’s understanding is supposed to cease. However, even such behaviour springs from plausible motives, without the knowledge of which the behaviour will not be changeable. The avoidance of self-validation is therefore a symptom which, in counselling, is a clue about the fact that someone is holding onto and stabilising that, which he wishes to change.