The online Certificate in Humanistic Counselling includes a number of exercises through the Modules asking for reflection on being in the present moment and how we manage that process for ourselves and with clients.

It can be difficult at times.

Sometimes our mind is racing ahead with the conversation or working through our response.

Sometimes we are so alarmed by what is happening or being said, our minds and bodies are may be in both fight and flight mind at the same time.

Or embarrassment might elicit a joke on our part to alleviate the tension or seriousness of the situation.

Or we might have just received a compliment and simply don’t know how to respond.

Being in the present moment though is much more than all of that.  It’s about being aware of our emotional responses and feelings at that moment.  Being aware of the physical feelings and sensations within our body.  And being prepared to stay with them, listen to them, experience them and engage with them right there and then, or let them go if that’s appropriate.

Within a therapy session, that “present moment” experience can be heightened for us as therapist as we may also be aware of client feelings, emotions and responses.

So just how do we stay with this present moment for ourselves and with our clients?

Using congruence can be difficult and scary, but acknowledges the present moment well for both therapist and client.  What would it be like for you to say something like, “When you said that, I felt a knot tighten in my stomach.  Is that what it feels like for you?”  or even, “I found myself feeling very angry when you said that, what are your feelings?”

For ourselves, try pausing every so often and reflecting on your thoughts and feelings in that one moment.  What are you feeling right now in your body and mind as you are sitting reading this Blog?

As I am writing this, I’m aware that my dinner is cooking in the oven, and someone has just poured me a glass of wine for our evening meal.  So there’s anticipation, as well as an ache in my shoulders after a demanding day, and relief at completing this Blog at last....

Perhaps the ache in my shoulders tells me I’ve worked too long today.  My stomach tells me it’s dinner time.  And as I take a deep breath, I feel my work is complete for today.  And I’m happy.

So what are you feeling right now?