KPC Module Three: Unit 4

This week served as an introduction to the Psychodynamic Perspective. We spent some time discussing Freud, and the history of the psychodynamic perspective. In essence, this perspective emphasises that much of our behaviour is determined by our unconcious – that our thoughts and feelings as adults, have their root in our childhood experiences. As a result of this, parts of our unconcious mind can be in conflict with parts of our concious mind, which creates in us feelings of anxiety. In order to mitigate these feelings of anxiety, we might employ a variety of different defence mechanisms (such as repression, compensation, denial, humour, intellectualisation, rationalisation, projection, and many others).

During this unit, we took some time to reflect upon some of the defence mechanisms we use. To represent this, and to remind me of this approach, I created a simple pattern in my knitting which reminded me of chain mail!

Tech details:

In the original pattern, there is an increase block at either edge of the shawl, and also on either side of both markers. So, on the second row of this block I knitted the following to create the increase section:

K to 4st before end. Turn; P to end. *K to 4 st before gap. Turn; P to end.* Rep from * to * until only 4 stitches remain. Knit across the row, closing the gaps as you go.

After the increase block, I created a simple chain mail pattern by repeating the following two rows:

Row 1: K1, SSK, YO, SSK, YO, K1, YO, SSK, YO, SSK, YO, CDD, YO, SSK, YO, SSK, YO, K1, YO, SSK, YO, SSK, K1, SSSK.
Row 2: Slip the first stitch purlwise, Knit to end of row.

KPC Module Three: Unit 3

This week we were looking at the Humanistic and Existential Perspectives: The Person-Centred Approach to counselling. In a nutshell, both perspectives are trying to enable individuals to reach their fullest potential. While the Humanistic theory suggests that human beings are constantly striving to become the best version of themselves that they can possibly be; the Existential theory says that human beings are searching for the meaning of life. Both theories recognise that a person’s experience of the world is their own source of truth.

This week we focussed on one particular aspect of these approaches, namely that of “conditions of worth”. Carl Rogers (the “father” of the person-centred approach) said in 1959 that “When significant others in the person’s world (usually parents) provide positive regard that is conditional, rather than unconditional, the person introjects the desired values, making them his/her own, and acquires “conditions of worth””.

We spent some time during the session exploring our own “conditions of worth”, which was a somewhat enlightening exercise 🙂 .

In terms of using the Person-Centred approach, we are taught how to be truly attentive, to truly listen to that person; to try to really understand their perspective, and get a sense of their understanding of the world. When this is done effectively, with genuineness and unconditional positive regard, the Speaker will then feel valued.

So, with both these aspects in mind, I’m choosing to represent this week’s learning with a recognised symbol of value – a diamond!

Tech details:

Firstly, the pattern for the diamond:

In the original pattern, there is an increase block at either edge of the shawl, and also on either side of both markers. So, on the penultimate row of this block I knitted the following to create the increase section:

K to 4st before end. Turn; P to end. *K to 4 st before gap. Turn; P to end.* Rep from * to * until only 4 stitches remain. Knit across the row, closing the gaps as you go.

KPC Module Three: Unit 2

This week, we began with an introduction to some of the different theoretical models in the counselling field, and to consider which models were most appealing to us.

At the end of the module, we took part in a quiz based on our values and beliefs, which would give us an indication which model best fit our values and beliefs.  Our answers were then scored out of 100 in three separate ways, giving us values for each of x, y, and z.  These scores were then drawn on a graph, and the three points joined up to form a triangle.  The direction the triangle pointed then gave an indication of which model best fitted us.

As you can see from my triangle, my scores were roughly similar so, although the inner triangle shows a slight bias towards the cognitive behavioural approach, it doesn’t really “point” in any given direction. This suggests I am most comfortable with an integrative or eclective approach, which means that I don’t believe that there’s a one-size fits all model; that everyone will respond differently, and it’s about find the best approach for than individual.  This result doesn’t surprise me at all 🙂 .

For my knitting this week, I have knitted my quiz graph – a large triangle, with a roughly equal triangle inside it.

KPC Module Three: Unit 1

And Module Three begins!

Module Three is going to be a bit different than the previous two modules, with an emphasis on self-awareness, and the awareness of self while using a counselling approach, in addition to learning about some of the theoretical perspectives used in the counselling field. We will be looking at the Humanistic/Existential Perspective, the Psychodynamic Perspective, and the Cognitive Behavioural Approach.

During Unit 1, we took some time to reflect on the previous two modules, and to discuss some of the ups and downs, and what we had learned. It felt like a settling-in to where we are now, and ended with a look to the coming weeks, and the direction in which we plan to go.

In terms of knitting, it’s time for a new colour!! And, as with the difference between this module and the previous modules, I’m going to change the way I’m knitting the pattern. I’m going to follow the same structure in terms of row counts, increases and so forth, but I’m going to apply each unit’s chunk of knitting to the edge, rather than knitting long rows.

For this week’s pattern, I was thinking that I’m feeling quite excited about beginning Module 3, so I’ve created a firework to represent that excitement 🙂 !

Tech details:

To maintain the look of the 3 edge stitches, I began by casting on with the Channel Island cast-on, which creates a beaded edge, emulating the edge of the garter stitch border. Then I worked 3 rows of K1, P1 rib, ensuring that the purls lined up with the beads of the cast-on edge. At the end of each where it meets the body of the shawl, I worked a SSSK, to join the block of knitting on to the main body of the shawl, and maintain the correct stitch count.

Rows 1-3: P1, K1.
Row 4: (YO, K2tog) to end.
Row 5: Knit.

In the original pattern, there is an increase block at either edge of the shawl, and also on either side of both markers. So, on row six, I worked several short rows to account for this increase.

Row 6: K to 4st before end. Turn; P to end. *K to 4 st before gap. Turn; P to end.* Rep from * to * until only 4 stitches remain. Knit across the row, closing the gaps as you go.

The next Firework pattern is shown in the Stitch Fiddle chart.

KPC Module Two: Units 10-12

I can’t quite get my head around the fact that we’ve reached the end of Module Two! It all seems to have come round so quickly. Module Two was titled Exploration and Expansion, and for various reasons I’ve found the Module to be something of a bumpy journey. We’ve covered some difficult topics over the last couple of months, there’s been a lot of pain revealed during triad work, and at times it’s felt like a pretty tough slog.

Units 10, 11 and 12 of each Module comprise writing a reflective essay, presenting a synopsis of that essay to the rest of the group, and taking part in a videoed triad session. As I wasn’t able to attend the session for the videoed triad on Saturday, I actually did mine just before Christmas. It went really well, and I felt that I’m making progress with my counselling skills. In early January, I wrote my essay, and then did the presentation on January 10th. I’m very pleased to be able to tell you that I have passed Module Two! At this stage, I haven’t received my report, but the tutor called me to tell me that I’d passed, so I’m thrilled about that.

With Christmas-busyness, I hadn’t had time to complete the knitting for Module Two before I did the presentation, and for a while I was really unsure how I was going to reflect Units 10-12 in my knitting. Then I realised that the the next Clue in the pattern actually reflected how I felt about the whole module perfectly – the zigzag lace pattern reminded me of a bumpy road, wrapping around the whole of Module Two.

Module Three begins tomorrow – I’m excited to see what the next couple of months brings!

Tech details:

I pretty much followed the pattern for FYA Clue 3B. The only part that I altered was to omit the extra yarn overs/k2togs which occur on rows 9 and 11 of the pattern.

KPC Module Two: Unit 9

In Unit 9, we looked at the “ending” phase of a counselling session. We considered how to wrap up a counselling session, and the ways in which we might gently achieve this when time is pressing.

On a personal level, we also considered endings in our own lives. Endings which we have personally experienced – this might be the end of a phase of life, leaving home, moving to a new place, or losing a loved one. We discussed the process of letting go. And we also thought about how we felt as we approach the end of Module Two of this course.

As an important aspect of endings is finding closure. Closure helps us put things in context, and brings things to a natural conclusion. Representing endings/closure in what is the very middle of a shawl pattern was tricky – but thanks to a little help from a friend (thanks K!), I’ve decided to stitch some buttons on to this section of the shawl. Buttons act as closures in garments, so I’m using them to represent this unit’s theme of endings in my shawl. I’ve chosen three different buttons, and put them on three different backgrounds, as a reminder that some closures can be tricky and difficult, others are easier, and still others can bring relief and are really positive.

After that section was completed, I also ended the short row section, and completed Clue 2B of the pattern, by knitting several rows round the whole piece to set up for moving on to the next Clue.

Tech details:

No chart this week, but I’m continuing following the basic structure of the FYA Clue 2B section I’m currently knitting:

RS: K to 3sts before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3sts before gap, turn.

However, I’m knitting three different blocks. Block one, at the right hand side is a regular stocking stitch background. The middle block is a 12-stitch long moss-stitch section, and the third block of 12 stitches is garter stitch.

Oh, and I’m still using Ysolda’s wrapless short row technique.

KPC Module Two: Unit 8

During Unit 8, we continued our exploration of some of our own personal triggers – this time looking at our own prejudices and how the things we struggle with could affect us during a counselling session.

We were invited to consider the ways in which we might judge people, and the sorts of things which might trigger such judgement – such things might include colour, race, religion, sexuality, or even personal hygiene! We thought about how we might feel in a counselling setting and finding ourselves faced with a person who triggered such a response in us, and then how we would cope in that situation.

I decided to represent the ideas of pre-judging people, and the ways in which we sometimes segregate people, by creating a box in my pattern, and putting two individual stitches in a different colour inside that box. This represents the way in which we can sometimes pre-judge (put them into some kind of mental box) people on the basis of some aspect of their physical, mental or cultural appearance.

Tech details:

No chart this week, but I’m continuing following the basic structure of the FYA Clue 2B section I’m currently knitting:

RS: K to 3sts before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3sts before gap, turn.

To create the box, I made a 15st lateral braid on the first RS row. Then, on the subsequent 7 rows, at each end of the braid, I worked a twisted st, so the box pattern looked as follows:

WS: P tbl (through back loop), K 13 st, P tbl.
RS: K tbl, P 13 st, K tbl.

On the final RS row, I completed the box by working a second lateral braid.

On the middle row of the box, I worked 2 stitches in an alternate colour, as shown in the picture. I then oversewed these two stitches several times to secure the yarn, and to highlight the stitches, making them stand out more in the final pattern.

Oh, and I’m still using Ysolda’s wrapless short row technique.

KPC Module Two: Units 6&7

These two units were covered in one of the longer Saturday sessions – mostly the course is run on a Wednesday evening, but across the year there are a number of whole day Saturday sessions, during which we cover two units. Saturday’s units covered aspects of Self-Awareness.

For a counsellor to be truly effective, they must also be truly authentic. This means we need to be aware of ourselves, our motivations, and our values. We need to be aware of the things which may trigger us, or provoke uwanted reactions within us, which may in turn, damage our unconditional positve regard, and the Speaker’s trust in us.

We spent some time looking at sexuality, which can be a huge issue for some people – both in the Speaker, and in the Listener. It was helpful to spend some time on this topic, in order to prepare us for what we might encounter in a counselling situation. We then moved on to look at our own personal motivations and values, which will affect our “ways of being” and “ways of doing” in a counselling setting. They are an integral part of who we are, so it’s important that we are aware of them, and know what our own personal triggers are so that we can guard against them impacting negatively with a Speaker.

I’ve chosen to represent these sessions as a sunburst – the opening up of ourselves, and bringing the hidden parts into the light.

Tech details: FYA Clue 2B.

RS: K15, pm, work 2 repeats of the chart (but without the final column (33) in the middle section, thus making 7 twisted columns in the middle, not 8), pm, K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to marker, work 2 repeats of the chart as above, P to 3 st before gap, turn.
Repeat these two rows a further 5 times, thus completing 12 rows of the chart.

The sunburst pattern was based on Judy Summer’s Catching Rays Socks, converted to be worked flat, rather than in the round.

Oh, and I’m using Ysolda’s wrapless short row technique.

KPC Module Two: Unit 5

During Unit 5, we spent some time discussing some of the losses and the gains which inevitably occur as we go through periods of transition in our lives. Learning to cope with these changes is essential for our personal growth. However, coping with changes and transitions in our lives can be difficult and normally demands a lot of emotional energy, so sometimes people resist these changes because it feels too hard.

An important skill for a counsellor to learn is the art of challenging – even in the presence of a counsellor, during a session a person has chosen to attend for the specific purpose of dealing with a problem, some people will avoid talking about the particular thing they are there to discuss. This isn’t always intentional – our brains are very clever at blinding us to things that are too hard for us at a particular time. So it is essential that a counsellor learn to recognise the signs of avoidance and, when it is appropriate, to gently challenge that individual.

It seemed appropriate therefore to choose a challenging pattern for this week’s knitting so, once again, I turned to Estonian lace to find something which would be tricky to knit. I found this little daisy motif, which included knitting 7 stitches together – this was certainly challenging to knit, although made easier by use of a crochet hook 🙂 .

Tech details: FYA Clue 2B:

RS: K15, work 3x Little Daisies pattern [yo, SK2P (sl 1, k2tog, psso), yo, K1, yo, SK2P, yo, K7], knit to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3 st before gap, turn.
RS: K to Little Daisies pattern, work 3x Little Daisies pattern [k7tog, K 7] K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to Little Daisies pattern – increase 7 in each of the three Little Daisy stitches, by working [P1,yo,P1,yo,P1,yo,P1] into the one stitch, above where you did the K7tog. P to 3 st before gap, turn.
RS: K12, work 3x Little Daisies pattern [yo, SK2P (sl 1, k2tog, psso), yo, K1, yo, SK2P, yo, K7], knit to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3 st before gap, turn.
RS: K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.

Oh, and I’m using Ysolda’s wrapless short row technique.

KPC Module Two: Unit 4

Appropriately enough, as we approach the middle of Module Two, in Unit 4 we learned more about the skills and tasks of the “middle” phase of a counselling session.

The middle section of the counselling session is the “meat” of the session – where trust can be developed, and concerns and issues may be explored more deeply. Of particular importance is the use of the skill Advanced Empathy. This skill involves the Listener going beyond what the Speaker has expressed – and in turn reflecting those thoughts and feelings back to the Speaker at deeper level than the Speaker was able to. It can involve making connections and linking experiences, and identifying themes in what the Speaker has been saying. Applied in an appropriate way, this can prompt the Speaker to see fresh insights about themselves, or can be challenging, or comforting to the Speaker.

The pattern this week returns to a section of short rows, building further on the previous short row section. This time I’m staying with the same Module Two colour, but I’m working an Estonian technique of sideways knitting to make connections between three different bobbles – this represents an important aspect of the “Middle” section – that of making connections between different experiences that a Speaker has expressed, in order to help them improve their understanding of themselves.

Tech details: FYA Clue 2B – after 3 rows of colour change (ending in 185 st):
Knit the next WS row to 4 st before m, turn.
RS: K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3 st before gap, turn.
RS: K 20st. Make 5st bobble; K1. Make a lateral braid for 20st; make easy-peasy nupp. K1. Make a lateral braid for 20st. K1. Make a 5st bobble as before. K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3 st before gap, turn.
RS: K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K to 3 st before gap, turn.

Oh, and I’m using Ysolda’s wrapless short row technique.