Counseling & Therapeutic Conversations: The Art & Science

Talking to another human being about things that bother you, like feeling “stuck,” sad, worried about relationships or health status… is a scary and daunting subject.

Often there’s this thought that “I should be able to handle this,” or “If I talk to someone else, I am weak,” or even “what will they think about me?”

Those are valid feelings, and often they stop us from seeking out another human being who will listen to our story, our fears, and our concerns. There are many choices for “life coaches,” or coaches of some kind, and many of them are very good at what they do. However, my own personal choice for when I seek a person out for a helping, maybe therapeutic, conversation is that this person be:

  • licensed,
  • certified in reflective practice,
  • have references, and
  • understand the difference between helping me with what’s going on now – versus – digging up and analyzing patterns from long ago in my life.

And yet many “coaches” are handing out advice that isn’t asked for, have no education in and developed skills in therapeutic conversation, and are – frankly – judgemental.

There are specific goals in therapeutic conversation. It is purposeful and sets a helping relationship to promote the client’s health and well-being in an intentional path toward self-discovery and ownership of personal issues. It uses specific skills that aim to support self-exploration and offer feedback to the client. Nowhere is judgement, giving unsolicited advice, or prescribing certain supplements practiced by the skilled communicator.

Registered Nurses who practice therapeutic conversation often add another layer of richness and rounding to the experience. Holistic in view, these professionals acknowledge the infinite, spiritual and energetic nature of each person. They value the heart-centeredness of being, and understand the value of intention, self-knowledge, being fully present, and intuition in conversation.

There is an amazing insight in choosing to seek out an advanced registered nurse who practices such therapeutic conversations, it comes from decades of being a nurse – where the fullness of the human experience has been seen in all of the breadth and depth of life and death, joy and sorrow, birth and death. We are present and we listen.

© Lizzie Bennett RN


Lizzie Bennett is a Registered Nurse and Ordained Minister of some years and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counselling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.


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