About Ithemba Counseling

Ithemba Counseling believes in “The Importance of the Installation of Hope in the Therapeutic Setting”. This idea of “The Importance of the Installation of Hope in the Therapeutic Setting” is built around this inter-relatedness that we all share. This inter-relatedness we share includes despair and hope. For one to truly be hopeful they must recognize the inter-connectedness of despair and hope. Without the experience of despair (or distress), how can you be hopeful, and how can you recognize hope if you never experienced despair and/or been in the presence of it. The idea of the “Installation of Hope” is not removing the despair, but going through it. To get to the place where I am trying to lead you, you must live from the core of yourself which is your heart and not your head because that is where real joy comes from. When you are living from your heart I believe you will be better prepared for what the world throws at you because you have the strength and internal peace to go through it. Since I have established my definition of hope I am going to define, or should I say undefine, what I mean by therapeutic setting and then I am going to discuss the four steps I believe it takes to get to this place of hope. Traditionally, the therapeutic setting has been described as a sacred place for the therapist and clients. I believe we have evolved from this sacred place (therapeutic setting) that is designed for therapist and client because historically as a human race we have always gravitated toward and related in groups together. Therefore, what the therapeutic setting means for me is a place where a person is supported and empowered to do something and/or change. This can happen in the therapy room as well as a community center, park, or even someone’s home. With that being said, my theory around the idea of “The Installation of Hope in Therapeutic Setting” requires you to go through a four-step process: 

“The first step is the recognition of despair from the person going through it and the person bearing witness to it. The second is helping the person bring voice to their despair or suffering. The third is helping the person develop a spiritual or internal endurance. The last is going through despair to the realization of hope. The hope that I am discussing is a spiritual or internal hope, which can be developed because the goal is not to remove suffering but to go through your suffering. When you are able to go through your suffering you grow and learn from it and that is what I want my reader to understand. Suffering is part of the human experience and if you are unable to go through it you will have difficulties getting through life.” 

If one can follow these steps in the therapeutic setting they will move from a place of despair to hope. Once you arrive at the place hope you begin the process of again. Despair and hope are not static states of being, we are always going in and out of both those states. Ithemba’s goal as a counseling practice is to help individuals, couples, families, and groups develop to a place where they are in the state of despair for shorter spans of time and in the state of hope for longer spans of time. Begin your journey of hope with me.