4 Areas of Focus for Counseling

CounselingArea 1Area 2Area 3Area 4Related Pages

4 Areas for Counseling & Therapy Work

  • Garden will teach you an easy and effective system of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

“We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.” —Jim Rohn

  • Read and discover the best self-help system for CBT.

Garden Your Mind book cover

4 Areas:

Coping, Problem-Solving, Perspective-Taking, Original Identity

  • There are four primary areas that should be addressed in counseling.
  • Easy to hard is based on the amount of work required, not the difficult
  • You can rate your counseling experience on how well each of these four areas is explored and resolved.
  • You can rate your counseling skill on how well you address each of these four areas.

List of 4 Areas by Name

  1. Coping
  2. Problem-Solving
  3. Perspective-Taking
  4. Original Identity

1. Coping Area for Counseling Focus

  • Coping is a good place to start because people often come into counseling because their limited set of coping skills is not working.
  • Coping is the easiest and most straightforward area to explore and develop in counseling.
  • Learning to cope is learning to accept reality as it is.
  • Coping is acceptance.
  • Coping as a response is opposite to the response of using a defense mechanism.
  • For more information on defense mechanisms, see 32 Defense Mechanism Including Freud’s 12.

Fix It or Accept It

  • Coping also involves the choice to stop with acceptance or to proceed on to problem-solving.
  • Yes, you must accept a problem in order to be able to properly fix it.
  • Instead of painting over the water spots on your ceiling, you might want to first accept, find, and fix the leak in your roof.
  • See “The Two Healthy Options” for more information on when to choose problem-solving.

These books will help you learn to cope:

  1. Stress for Success! Second Edition
  2. Garden Your Mind
  3. Attitude Is All You Need! Second Edition

More Resources for Coping

  1. Coping Skills: Free Help
  2. Quotations by Topic: Acceptance & Coping
  3. Quotations by Topic: Coping Statements & Phrases

2. Problem-Solving Area for Counseling Focus

  • Problem-solving is needed when you can help fix problems.
  • Problem-solving is a skill that people are not born with and that few teach.
  • Problem-solving can be taught as a series of steps.
  • Improving your thinking skills helps with problem problem-solving.

5 Simple Steps for Problem-Solving

  1. Research solutions.
  2. Practice a solution.
  3. Evaluate its success.
  4. Redo or refine the solution.
  5. Or, pick a new solution.

More Resources on Problem-Solving

  1. 3Rs (Recognize, Remove & Replace): List Pages
  2. Read Problem Solved! 3Rs to mater problem-solving.

3. Perspective-Taking Area for Counseling Focus

  • Perspective-taking is a skill that can be taught and learned with practice.

2 Types of Perspective-Taking

(1) You find alternative views of something (at least five always exist).

  • Different views of a problem allow you to understand how the problem is seen or understood by others.
  • The 5TP Teaches the skill of finding different views for problems or issues.
  • The 5TP is the easiest and best model for learning to look at things from different points of view.
  • Read Discovery Demands 5TP to learn more about perspective-taking as a life skill.

(2) You find different ways to approach the problem without lying about what the problem is.

  • Different approaches to a problem allow you to choose different ways to deal with the problem.
  • Different approaches require different attitudes.

Different Approaches (not just different views)

  • Instead of blaming or whining, you cope. Instead of just coping, you find a way to use the problem to your advantage.
  • You do not pretend the problem is not what it is, but you do find out how to best approach the problem.
  • How can I use the problem to my advantage?
  • This is not pretending the problem is not a problem or is a gift.
  • “I can learn from this.” Not, “This is a lesson sent to me.”
  • “I can make the most of this.” Not, “This is a gift.”
  • Yes, you can be grateful that you have an alcoholic history because that is how you found spirituality.
  • However, this does not make your alcoholic history into something good.

Some Questions for a Different Approach

  • How to make the problem less bad?
  • How to make a new use for the problem?
  • How to make the problem into a partial advantage?

Some Attitudes for a Different Approach

  • I will not change or lie about what the problem is.
  • I will not pretend away the problem.
  • I will choose to learn, benefit, or find a use for the problem.

4. Original Identity Area for Counseling Focus

  • Your original identity is the one you had as a little child. It was your true identity.
  • You are only authentic when you identify with your actual being.

Help Clear Your Mind of False Identities

  • Learn and practice the main REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) principles of USA (unconditional self-acceptance), UOA (unconditional other acceptance), and ULA (unconditional life acceptance).
  • Remember nothing is about you because nearly everything is about your ego and others’ ego for you.
  • Remember the story of life is not about you.
  • Stop trying to know, do, or be something.
  • Unlearn your self-esteem and self-talk habits of fantasizing about being things and thoughts.
  • Reduce your ego drives, games, and needs.

Help Re-owning Your Authentic Self

  • Relearn your old self-hosting habits.
  • You are the container, not the contents.
  • Be your authentic self, which means act more spontaneously.
  • Be real, which means to be honest and direct.
  • Say what you think and feel or wait to talk later.
  • Mean what you say or don’t say it.
  • Do what you say you will do or don’t say you will do it.
  • Be true to yourself, which means to keep honest about your intentions and desires.
  • “This above all: to thine own self be true.” —William Shakespeare, Hamlet.
  • Here are 32 ways you deceive yourself.
  • Return to natural-self experiences (remember and recreate).
  • Learn about your vessel nature by reading Self: Who Am I?

3 Books Will Help You with Understanding & Reducing Your Ego

  1. Mind Your Ego
  2. Games Ego Plays
  3. Journal Journey from Ego


  • People who can cope are happier and do better in life since life is full of changes and challenges.
  • People who can problem-solve lead more successful lives both at work and at home because problems are fixed when possible.
  • People who have mastered perspective-taking can live fully and peacefully in any time or situation and thereby help others to do so too.
  • People who have their right Identity can be content being who they are without having to prove anything to anyone.
  • Authentic people can stand before God, but phonies and pretenders cannot.