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Compass Therapy Techniques


 

Compass Therapy techniques are valuable tools that serve a wide range of functions in the counseling process. Techniques make sessions come alive with movement and purpose. Like camera lenses, they augment the therapeutic dialogue with methods for zooming in for close-ups or zooming out for wide-angle overviews.

Techniques allow a counselor to explore a person’s past, present, or future, while promoting growth and transformation. These techniques also empower healing and wholeness in self-help readers.


TWENTY-FIVE THERAPEUTIC TECHNIQUES

 

Dr. Dan Montgomery presents 25 counseling techniques in his book Christian Counseling that Really Works. These techniques include the Kleenex technique; Socratic probing; compass sketching; counselor self-disclosure; positive self-fulfilling prophecy; mirroring; time shuttling; emotional modulation; behavioral rehearsal; meaning attribution; muscle melting; peer mentoring; projective analysis; abbreviated word association; normalization; the purple rhinoceros technique; metaphor construction; physical symbolization; towel twisting; the lean-against-the-wall technique; conditional alignment; collaborative implantation; behavioral prediction; congratulatory affirmation; and Grandma’s Rule.

Dan discusses how to use the Human Nature Compass to generate techniques in Compass Therapy: Christian Psychology In Action. Working with a client's mind, heart, body or spirit promotes progress in every session. This advanced counseling book shows how to apply techniques when working with the major personality disorders: dependent, histrionic, paranoid, antisocial, avoidant, schizoid, compulsive, and narcissistic.

Theory and techniques appropriate to pastoral counseling and church counseling centers are included in Pastoral Counseling & Coaching: Compass Therapy in Churches.


SAMPLE TECHNIQUE: COMPASS SKETCHING

 

An impromptu Self Compass sketch can be developed at any time during counseling and used for many purposes. Therapists can draw them from scratch on a blank sheet, or use sheets with the Self Compass already printed on them. The idea is to brainstorm with counselees about how their compasses are functioning in particular situations or relationships.


DESCRIPTION OF MARIA

 

A counselee named Maria is a respected physicist at work. At home she is an emotionally exploited wife. You take out two generic compass sheets, labeling one “Work” and the other “Marriage.”

Maria shares that at work, she feels centered and competent. She isn’t competitive with others, but rather works synergistically with her co-workers by expressing herself and listening to them. So the completed “Work” compass shows all four compass points in good working order and complementary balance.


Maria's-WORK-Compass.jpg

MARIA'S DESCRIPTION OF MARRIAGE

 

What does Maria’s “Marriage” compass looks like? Maria says, “Sometimes I kid my husband that there are two people in this marriage: Him and him. But I have to be careful what I say because he can take things very personally. Somehow the burden is always on me to be nice and make him happy.”


Maria's-Marriage-Compass.jpg

CONCLUSION

 

By the end of the session Maria has formed an indelible mental image of where she is stuck and which growth stretches she can take into more actualizing attitudes and behaviors. Over time Maria develops stronger self-esteem and the capacity for diplomatic assertion in the marriage.


COMPASS SERIES BOOKS THAT INCLUDE TECHNIQUES

 

Dr. Montgomery’s books that include several dozen counseling techniques may be ordered by clicking on these titles:

CHRISTIAN COUNSELING THAT REALLY WORKS

“Dr. Montgomery has given his readers the opportunity to look over his experienced shoulders as he helps people untangle their lives. He skillfully uses a relational compass to help clients identify how their lives are constricted in unhealthy ways and how they can move toward more expansive forms of mental health. The author gives us examples and explanations of 25 useful therapeutic techniques that alone are worth the price of the book.”

James Beck, Ph.D., Chair of the Counseling Division, Denver Seminary

COMPASS THERAPY: CHRISTIAN PSYCHOLOGY IN ACTION

“I am not aware of any other book that succeeds as well as this one in providing both professional therapists as well as Christian counselors with a theoretical and practical model that combines psychology and theology in an integrated way. It has a profound simplicity that covers a wide range of personality disorders. Put it on top of your reading list!”

Ray S. Anderson, Ph.D., Senior Professor of Theology & Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary

PASTORAL COUNSELING & COACHING: THE SELF COMPASS IN CHURCHES

“The Compass Model is comprehensive, Christ-conscious, pragmatic, and pastoral. It provides a whole person frame of reference to assess trapped in unhealthy patterns of life and to guide them on a journey toward wholeness. This is a growth-oriented healing model that can take place in congregations as well as counseling centers.”

Thompson K. Mathew, Ph.D., Professor of Pastoral Care & Dean, School of Theology and Missions


COMPASS SERIES BOOKS VIDEO

 

Dan Montgomery describes the complete Compass Series, including a Christian fiction novel: VIDEO.

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