VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Engage the Brain: Using Writings, Movement, and Creativity to Increase Effectiveness
Christine J. Schimmel and Ed Jacobs
Pat Love, the first president of IAMFC, once said, “The brain likes novelty.” This is true and yet counselors still primarily conduct “talk-listen” therapy. This article emphasizes the importance of being innovative during counseling and how the use of creative techniques can improve effectiveness. Counselors need to think of ways to engage the brain just as advertisers try to engage our brains when watching commercials on television. The advertiser’s goal is to engage our brain to the point of making a change. This is what counselors ideally try to do—engage our client’s brain in order to have an impact. There are a variety of creative techniques that counselors can use (Gladding, 2005; Haley, 1986; Jacobs, 1992; Jacobs, 1994; Mosak & Maniacci, 1998). Counselors are encouraged to explore these resources plus many others and find techniques that fit their counseling style. Additionally, counselors are encouraged to think like advertisers and find creative ways to dramatize points during a session. Excellent techniques to have in a counseling “tool box” include creative techniques that involve writing or drawing and movement.