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Welcome to Integrated Counseling & Consulting LLC

Hello there. If you are reading this first blog, you must be wondering why. Everywhere there are folks writing and sharing. We are truly drowning in ideas, opinions, and information. Enough, I guess, to make us all wary of another. Well, I can’t promise that this will reveal the key to the universe (the answer still remains 42). What prompts me to share a monthly blog is my interactions with many professionals in the helping arts who like tidbits of science, new books or ideas but lack the time to spend finding them. That is not to say that my readings, my searches are yours or shared but, you might find my musings interesting!

Blogs are just a way to connect to mutually invested folks- those that find challenging ideas fun and important. Without promise, I will attempt to be lighthearted, non-dogmatic, and clear. I will try many voices. It is about striking a balance between conversation and exposition. Remember, this is a new venue for me too; not the sharing, I have 25 years of teaching, training, and consulting, but this method.

So, lets us try one.

A ritual I have is common…..prior to slumping catatonically into bed, I read from my phone. The other evening I ran across this cool article. Another, related ritual is sending, en-masse, these nuggets to friends and myself. The hope, I guess, is that they will find them cool too and think more kindly of me. Really. I might be that insecure. But back to the other night.

I had been pondering expertise and the qualities I have found in many self-proclaimed experts. Ok, you are thinking…..just tell me.

Well, I see working with another person daunting, fun, and complex. One characteristic I have found in myself is the need to be certain….to be right and convincingly so. And besides, there is a popular push for all of us to become experts….(we are, in a way, totally expert). Why else have student loans? So, what struck me?

Victor Ottati and others (2015) writing in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (Volume 61, November 2015, Pages 131–138) talks about what might happen to experts. In the article “When self-perceptions of expertise increase closed-minded cognition: The earned dogmatism effect” they showed evidence pointing to a closing of expert’s ability to hear and integrate new ideas. Maybe those ideas are separate from your expertise or maybe, in the case of therapy, the ideas about helping come from the clients. What? Closed minded? They struggle to not just argue with the other’s worldview. Seeing ourselves as experts, having unflinching certainty in our view of the world, places us on the track against the basic principles of working and being with others. They showed that we must fight the social permission and the “expert’s” impulse to be dogmatic.

This doesn’t mean learning less, not getting deep knowledge, and not have confidence in that which you DO know: just a cautionary tale to not buy into your own certainty. That’s it. Become expert in sometimes without become THE expert. Just a nighttime lullaby for dreams the other night. Welcome again. Please stay tuned!!!

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