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Bliss Mistress Guide: Essential Elements of Spiritual Counseling

by Edie Weinstein

I was sorting through some old files while organizing my new home office and I found a paper I had written while I was attending The New Seminary from which I was ordained as an interfaith minister in 1999. The title was “Essential Elements of Spiritual Counseling”, since that was one of the roles that we could take once we graduated. As I read it, I was amazed at how, all of these years later, my practice with clients has not changed a great deal and I still follow these guidelines. As I have evolved, so too have they. It has become clear that they are also applicable to relationships and I share them with you now.

1- Centering Myself- Entering into a counseling relationship feeling calm sot that I can provide a peaceful environment for the other person. I take time to meditate even briefly or at the very least, take a few slow and easy breaths.

2- Leave My Own Turmoil At The Door-My role is to be present with the person so that my challenges don’t shout for attention, in competition with their own.

3- Awareness That I Am The Channel For The Healing-Alone I am not the source of the healing, but with the Presence of the Divine, I am in contact with the Source.

4- Asking for Guidance-There are times when I literally say “Ok. God, what’s the next step?”

5- Listening For The Answer-Being open and willing to receive the information, regardless of how far-fetched it might sound.

6- Allow Divine Silliness-I am also a clown and I recognize the power of humor in relationships, whether personal or professional. I have seen faces and attitudes transformed by a good hardy and heart-y laugh.

7- Come From The Heart As Well As The Head- I have discovered that all the book knowledge in the world can’t touch a soul with the impact of a loving exchange.

8- Respect Boundaries-It’s important to recognize that we have our own feelings, beliefs and perceptions and that as a counselor, I have no right to over-rule. I can re-frame or suggest another view. Physical boundaries are important as well. Even if I sense that person might want a hug, in the midst of emotional catharsis, I always ask first.

9- Seeing The Person As An Individual- Each comes with this or her own history and experiences, unique to him or her, therefor, there are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions to problems. I never tell anyone “I know how you feel.”

10- Recognizing The I Can’t Resolve Everyone’s Issues- Since I am simply a catalyst, it is crucial to realize that I have neither the power, nor the ability to fix, save, heal or cure; kiss the boo boo’s and make them better for those who come to me. I am learning to relinquish ‘savior behavior’.

11- Provide Tools, Not Solutions-Through the use of books, music, movies, writing, art, music and movement, I support clients in discovering their own answers

12- Constantly Challenge Myself To Grow And Learn-I am a perpetual student and work in progress who is responsible to myself and those I serve, to seek answers, broaden my horizons, do my own healing work, walk my talk and pray with all my heart, remembering that I am Child of God, and so is everyone else.

13- Practice What I Preach-As I suggest that people be willing to receive love, support friendship and guidance so too must I. Authenticity is an important ingredient in the professional relationship, since it invokes a sense of trust and integrity

If you do this type of work, what are your essentials?

Edie Weinstein (Bliss Mistress) is a wild enthusiast and an opti-mystic who sees the world through the eyes of possibility. Her career path has taken her world wide as a writer, speaker, minister, social worker, radio host (It’s All About Relationships on Vivid Life Radio www.vividlife.me) and the author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming The Ordinary Into The Extraordinary. www.liveinjoy.org

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