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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Heart Awakening Counseling Effectively Tames the Mind: Learn about a psycho-spiritual alternative to mainstream psychotherapy, from Rev. F. Michael Adkins

Jul 01, 2012 08:03AM ● By Rev. F. Michael Adkins

Heart awakening counseling (HAC) is a psycho-spiritual alternative to mainstream psychotherapy that addresses existential problems at their most fundamental level—the development of emotional and spiritual intelligence.

The generally accepted definition of intelligence is the ability to understand, apply knowledge, reason skillfully and manipulate one’s environment. With HAC, it denotes the ability to manage complex thoughts and emotions to solve problems. Emotional intelligence, first described by scientist and author Daniel Goleman in 1995, includes self-awareness, self-control and the ability to get along with others.

Spiritual intelligence is concerned with the inner life of the mind and spirit and its relationship to being in the world. Like emotional intelligence, it comprises more than individual mental ability. All three kinds of intelligence are important in dealing with the complex thoughts and emotions, and they all may be cultivated.

The goal of HAC is to assist in the development of emotional and spiritual intelligence. The process may be brief or it can lead to a long-term relationship with a coach or counselor. Those who are struggling with the need to find a spiritual path or emotional growth, or feel overwhelmed or sad and cannot deal with an undesirable habit or addiction, should consider trying HAC.

HAC coaches and counselors use a number of helping methods to guide clients toward a more emotionally stable and spiritually mature way of living and coping with life’s challenges. The structure of HAC is derived from Positive Psychology Coaching, the original work of Dr. Martin Seligman, who has worked for decades to steer psychotherapy from the medical model of treating psychopathology to the positive model of building on a client’s strengths.

Assessment of a client’s needs, strengths and goals is usually done within the context of Motivational Interviewing, a client-centered, goal-directed counseling approach developed by Drs. Bill Miller and Steve Rollnick, to help people begin to change how they solve existential problems and relate to the world. The next step is to help clients by using immediate challenges, usually through hypnocounseling, a specialized form of hypnotherapy.

The core of HAC is guided mindfulness training. Buddhism’s earliest written records describe “awareness and attention,” with an added sense of remembering. As applied in HAC, this implies awareness of present experience, with non-judgmental acceptance.

Mindfulness helps clients see and accept things as they are, in order to loosen their preoccupation with self, experience the richness of the moment and become free to act skillfully. It helps still their busy, restless minds, soothes anxiety and allows the release of unwanted feelings as they learn to suspend and eliminate thoughts that are critical of themselves or others and to banish self-doubt.

HAC is not a “silver bullet” or panacea for life’s problems. It is a solid connection with the spirit that informs all.

Rev. F. Michael Adkins, MS (Psych.), JD, CCHt, Bsc. (Dip) has more than 40 years of experience in law, business, education and counseling. For more information phone 480-664-6633 or visit StormClock.org.

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