The counselling framework I use is called WWW-ARC and has been developed at Massey University here in Aotearoa New Zealand. WWW-ARC is based on what the plentiful counselling research tells us about what makes counselling work well. This counselling framework is intentionally designed to be an empowering, research informed, feedback driven, and culturally responsive model and it has a pluralistic base. This pluralistic base means that there are many different things in counselling that can be helpful for people, so I will let you know some ways we can approach your situation, but we can also use ways that you know or find helpful. WWW-ARC is designed so we can work together respecting and privileging your unique cultural context.
WWW-ARC stands for Attend, Reflect and Respond, and Collaborate and has been based on a Maori model of learning, Whakapiri, Whakamārama, Whakamana or engage, enlighten, empower. In essence this is how we learn everywhere in our life - we have to want to learn (be engaged), take in the learnings (enlighten) and make them our own (empower).
Another way of looking at WWW- engage, enlighten, empower is like learning to swim. Firstly we have to want to learn, this is the engagement. Next we need a method that teaches or enlightens us, such as reading a ‘how to swim’ book or app, taking lessons, or teaching ourselves. However we really don't know how to swim until we practice and practice it. When we make swimming something that we know we can do, it has become part of us, the "I can swim, I am a swimmer" part. This is empowerment.
So when you come to counselling, it doesn't matter whether you're wondering what swimming is, on the side of the pool wanting to begin, feel like you're drowning in the middle or simply wanting to improve your style. I can help you figure out what you'd like to be able to do, and together we figure out how to do that. We can use methods that I know about, and also ones that you are an expert in, however we work that out together. To check that things are getting better for you, we evaluate your progress through discussion, observation, and a simple and accurate measurement scale. Supporting my work with you, I use the rich counselling and psychotherapy research base.
So where does the Attend, Reflect and Respond and Collaborate come in?
Attending means being present with you in a warm and accepting way that is respectful of your unique cultural context. Listening and responding is done using something called reflective listening skills. Although they are called listening skills, they are more communication skills. These skills help you to feel heard and understood, and also encourage you to find your own answers within. That is, they support you to enlighten yourself. Collaborating is really about empowering you, recognising that you are the authority in your own life, and that you have your own strengths, courage, abilities and motivation. We work to create a plan that will bring about success for you, working step by step. We look at all the resources and supports you have available, both within yourself, as well as the family, whanau, people around you and what is part of your environment.