• The CalmPost

To Be a Smuggler

Updated: Nov 15, 2018

Yesterday in Dr. Ling Lam's Foundations of Psychotherapy and Personality Development class, we learned about the concept of "smuggling."

"I am all for smuggling!" he jokes... Seriously.

With a demo video on the screen, showing us a bit of what not to do, we observed a psychologist using charts and graphs describing to the client what is considered to be "normal" for overcoming PTSD.

Psychoeducation is important, Dr. Lam explains, "I prefer to smuggle it in there!"

What Dr. Lam was describing was a technique of subtle guidance. A humble approach of offering alternative perspectives and ways of thinking to clients (or those around us), without assuming you hold the answer. Or that the client doesn't already have their own solutions!

For example, have you ever noticed how sometimes when you're venting, you're not looking to be told what to do? Instead, you really just want a safe space to talk things through to help figure it out mostly... on your own?

I was in that position Tuesday in Dr. Shauna Shapiro's Psychology of Interpersonal Communications class. In a live demo to the group of us students, Dr. Shapiro and I sat in an on-the-spot session where I presented to her a real question of mine. I was thinking...

How do I offer support to someone I love, without having to tell them what it is I think? ...Especially if I might not necessarily agree with the scenario to begin with!

Without asking a single question - instead reflecting back to me what Dr. Shapiro was hearing - very clear and tangible solutions rose to the surface.

They were just buried deep down in my own psyche, needing the subtle smuggling of another to bring it all to Light!

It's when taking a step back we are sometimes able to lead. By letting another person drive.

A dance! ...Gui-dance!

A graceful back and forth of accepting what is. Trusting the New can be born...


Living in the Space in between.

#smuggling #mentalwellness #counseling #counselling #psychology #counselingpsychology #reflectivelistening #spaceinbetween #communication

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