Sunday, October 11, 2009

Truth at all costs ... [Martin Luther King Jr.]

As counselling students we are trained to keep our own values and beliefs out of the counselling relationship... the session is about the client, not about us. This made sense to me, my White, Western, Christian, Upper-Middle Class point of view is by no means the only valid way of seeing the world. However, putting it into practice is a little more difficult. How do I decipher between what is my bias and what is a universal value? Sometimes the lines get a little blurry. After all, I believe what I believe because I think it is the truth.

For example, I have had a couple of client's indicate to me that they are being less than honest with their significant other. Nothing so big as an affair, smaller things like letting her boyfriend believe that she cares for him more than she actually does, or letting his girlfriend believe that he is ok with living together when actually he is not. Maybe you don't know this about me, but truth and honesty are very important to me. I think the lie hurts much more than any action, so you can imagine my negative internal reaction to these situations... but is my inclination towards truth my own bias?

A quote from one of my class readings says that "the therapist should make clear that the truth is a goal constantly to be striven for". Can we go so far as to say that honesty and integrity are moral absolutes? I want to say yes... but I'm not sure that everyone would agree. I'm left longing for the wisdom necessary to know what are absolutes and what are my own biases. 

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