It’s normal to be concerned about the depth of counselling. What is the counsellor going to ask me? Will I ugly cry the whole time? In Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), they use a tool called The Experiencing Scale. This scale describes seven levels of emotional and cognitive involvement with your counselling. If you feel safe in the sessions and you understand moving to the deeper levels, you will typically have more progress in sessions.
This improved effectiveness is probably due to several factors, including:
a.) clearer understanding of head, heart & gut levels of your feelings and reactions.
b.) more contact with feelings allows them to be worked on, processed & integrated to produce better balance in thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
c.) stronger connection with healthy, appropriate emotions can energise us to act to change outer circumstances in helpful ways.
The Experiencing Scale: Seven Levels of Counselling Sharing
The scale has been shown to predict client change. The deeper you’re willing to go, the more healing you can experience.
1.) The client only talks about events, ideas or others.
2.) They refer to self but without expressing emotions.
3.) They express emotions only as they relate to external circumstances.
4.) They focus directly on emotions and thoughts about themselves.
5.) They engage in an exploration of their inner experience.
6.) They gain awareness of previously implicit feelings & meanings.
7.) Their ongoing process of in-depth self-understanding provides new perspectives to solve significant problems.
It’s important to point out that you can’t rush this process. Time is necessary for your body and mind to feel safe enough to heal. This is a helpful guide to chart your progress.
Klein M H, Mathieu P L, Gendlin E T & Kiesler D J. The experiencing scale: a research and training manual (vol 1) Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1969.