The Rationale for Personal Development and Training

The essential rationale for Personal Development Skills growth will be understood from the necessity to know one’s own human needs, along with non secular, emotional and social development, because a failure to know this about one’s own self is unthinkable if trying to understand and relate to different human beings in any significant way.

An individual’s growth can be perceived in many different methods; as an example as in Freud’s Psychosexual Development Concept (Marshall, 2004) which seems to be at phases of sexual development and the frustrations linked to every stage, or Havighurst’s Developmental Levels (Sugarman, 1986) and Duties which identifies:

Duties that come up from physical maturation

Tasks that come up from personal values

Tasks which have their supply within the pressures of society

or by way of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs(Maslow, 1998).

Or certainly by way of any of the other strategies and theories which were developed, and which could also be studied and related to the wants of a counsellor in training,e.g.:

Erikson’s Phases of Psychosocial Growth Idea

Piaget’s Phases of Cognitive Improvement

Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Improvement

Gilligan’s Concept of Ethical Development

Which is to name but a couple of, and a few of which will mean more to at least one particular person than to another.

What is really important is the core situation of recognising ourselves and others as human beings with developmental wants and developmental constructs, the understanding of which is paramount to enabling a real understanding of the human improvement processes and the requirements needed with a view to work towards living a contented and fulfilled existence for ourselves, and for engaging meaningfully with others working towards the same.

An individual’s decisions are often influenced by social construction, by adapting our personality to fit in with the expectations of friends, family and employers; whilst in relation to every other particular person we could act in response to our own unconscious and emotionally fuelled expectations. The individual we are relies upon upon our life experiences and feedback from others about how we inter-relate with those individuals with whom we come into contact, in addition to the bodily, cultural and religious worlds in which we discover ourselves. If we are to be able to relate to others whose personal construct and developmental processes which have led to what they have grow to be with any real empathy and congruence, we must first perceive our personal construct. In taking responsibility for learning about our own emotional and social actions, understanding and improvement, we act authentically; however allowing our social construct to make decisions for us may very well be seen as acting un-authentically.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Wants takes a premise that after the most basic human needs are met it becomes possible to progress through successively more advanced ranges of need, to culminate in ‘self actualisation’. If we have interaction in exploring this process we enable ourselves the chance to develop a relationship with one’s self which leads to and enables the institution of a more understanding relationship with others.

This hierarchy of needs is predicated on a ‘Humanistic’ method and the idea of ‘self actualisation’ as described by Carl Rogers, who pressured that self-awareness of the person, on a conscious degree, is the most important way to work in understanding behaviour by making reference to the inner framework (Rogers, 1961).

Taking a look at Kohlberg’s phases of ethical growth (Kegan, 1983) helps us to understand where a person may need difficulties if they have not undergone such moral growth by way of lack of cultural or social contact, or by lack of understanding.

It is just by developing our own understanding of personal growth theories and practices that we can develop the skills and practices to assist others who are suffering from some lack of personal development or some misguided thinking developed throughout their upbringing.