Re: Carl Rogers on the "Emergence" proposal
- I really enjoyed reading this as well. So well thought out and clear.
Something that jumped out at me was the line "terror it strikes in
the heart of the person who has struggled to become a "professional."
I think of certification something like hazing. As in people start
feeling like "I went through this, you should have to too".
I feel lucky to live in a state (Oregon) that does not (yet) require
licensure to do counseling. Recently I've been contemplating learning
to offer counseling to people (combining NVC, Hakomi, mindfulness,
and whatever else is helpful). I simply cannot stomach formal
education any more - I've experienced it as very deadening. And I'm
heartened to clear from my consciousness the idea that I "need" to
get a M.A. or jump through similar hoops. Instead I'm asking
myself "What training/practice/etc would help me feel confident that
I am genuinely helping?". It feels so much more alive and inspiring
to me than looking at a list of requirements.
I believe it also inspires a sense of responsibility for self. If
I'm "self-certifying", I'm going to have to really ask myself "Am I
ready? What more do I need to learn?". This kind of honest self-
evaluation and responsibility is what I hope all
helping "professionals" would have. And yet it seems to me that the
idea that "200 supervised hours" or another arbitrary external
criteria magically makes one qualified inherently demotes self-
evaluation in favor of external evaluation. It reinforces this idea
that other people know you better than you know you. Which is exactly
the opposite of the kind of self-awareness that I hope to inspire in
people I'm offering to help.
I'm very happy and inspired reading this, and if I do decide to
become a counselor and/or NVC teacher and have a website and
an "about page", I'm going to include that article under an FAQ
saying "Are you properly licensed, certified, and rubber-stamped?".
- I felt compelled to put in a note on
licensure/certification/competence. I hope that it contributes to
As someone who spent 15 years working in state government making
policy related to licensure in the health professions, I thought that
I would add my two cents. Licensure tests knowledge, but not
competence. Competence is a judgment. There is no objective
measure. Clients want professionals to be competent, and not just
have the requisite knowledge. Most licensed professionals are
competent in some aspects of their profession and not so competent or
even totally incompetent in others. Because I believe that most of
them, at the very least, are doing no direct harm, I also believe
that most of them are practicing within their scope of competence.
Licensure is designed, in principle, to protect the public, but it
also protects the interests of the professions. Most legislation to
establish new licensed professions in New York, for example, is
initiated by profession associations, not by consumers clamoring for
more regulation, nor by ardent bureaucrats yearning to protect the
public. Professional associations employ lobbyists to get their
legislation through the system. These same professional associations
write the terms of the legislation, including the definition of the
profession. And, in New York, for example, once a profession has a
legal definition (scope of practice), ONLY people in that profession
or other licensed professions (in the case of overlap of scope of
practice) may practice that profession, EVEN IF IT IS CALLED
Competence might show up as a "felt sense," as the folks who practice
Focusing might say. You feel it in your gut as a result of x amount
of study, observation and practice. Competence is dynamic: It
depends on the what, when, where and with whom. I used to tell
licensed professionals to make an internal assessment and ask
themselves, "Am I competent to do this?" before touching each and
every patient. I would say the same about NVC. I really liked what
Emma said about competence. She will self-certify when she is she
feels that she is competent. Certified or not, it's about taking
responsibility for yourself and your actions.