Counselling by Osmosis

Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D.
Counselling Psychology Department
Trinity Western University
Article in Get Psyched Newsletter February 16, 1999

What makes counselling effective? Clinical skills certain play a key role. The therapist-client relationship is also important. But ultimately the quality of the counsellor as a person matters the most.

Some people give you bad vibes, even when they try to make a good impression. Some people seem to exude a positive life energy, even through the telephone or e-mail.

An effective counsellor is a therapeutic person. Being in the presence of such a person already has a healing effect on the client.

In some “mysterious” ways, often unconsciously, the positive attributes of the counsellor — hope, faith, love and joy— are absorbed by the client. This transforming effect is achieved through osmosis rather than intentional intervention.

Unfortunately, most counsellor training programs only focus on clinical skills. Here at Trinity Western University, we care about students’ personal development and spiritual growth.

We provide a dynamic learning, healing and spiritual community in which students can develop their therapeutic attributes — this is the uniqueness of our graduate program in counselling psychology!

Reprinted by permission. International Network on Personal Meaning

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