Counselling ANGELS:(Part 1)Voices in my head
Updated: Nov 22, 2019
Halley, a middle school student, has two angels that she hears; one nice and the other not so nice. They tell her what to do. This frightens Halley.
Robert Davies © 2018
“Well, Halley, according to your brief mood survey, it looks like you are feeling extremely anxious. What is happening? Maybe I can help?”
“Mr. Jenkins, I am hearing voices.”
Mr. Jenkins listened very carefully, always his guide would be the client and wherever that client might lead him.
“Yes, voices in my head, telling me what to do.”
“What do they tell you to do?”
“Well, one voice is trying to get me to do things that I shouldn’t and the other is trying to get me to do the things that I should.”
“So, which voice are you listening to?”
“I am listening to the good voice telling me the good things to do. I am ignoring the other voice.”
“You are being the boss of your thoughts?”
“Yes, I guess so.”
“Guess so? But you are! Good for you! So, you are hearing voices, one saying good stuff and the other not-so-good. You are following the good voice. But you are feeling really anxious that the voices are talking to you. So what don’t you like about all this?”
“Well, I want the voices to stop, especially the one asking me to do the bad stuff.”
“Tell me more about these voices. What are they like? Who is speaking to you?”
“Well, it is like a good angel and a bad angel?”
“Tell me about these angels.”
“Well, the bad angel is always urging me to do bad stuff. It is a boy’s voice, and he sounds like my younger brother.”
“What kind of stuff does he ask you to do?”
“Well, he wants me to steal stuff, say mean stuff and lie to my parents.”
“I am thinking that is something you wouldn’t do. Am I right, Halley?”
“Yes, you are.”
“Then that voice telling you to do the bad stuff must find it really annoying.”
“It is.” “Have you given in to the bad angel?”
“No, but I am worried that I might.”
“And the other angel?”
“She is a good angel and sounds like my older sister.”
“Older sister? A good, older sister?”
“Well, she can be buggy. But yes, she is a good person.”
“She’s in high school – 16.”
“And that angel’s voice wants you to do good stuff.”
“So, if I understand you correctly. This good angel is okay, but this bad angel is bugging you to do stuff that you don’t want to do. Is it the fact that these angels are talking to you that bothers you or that you might listen to the bad angel?”
“Just hearing the voices is the worst.”
“Do you want some help with that?”
“Yes, Mr. Jenkins.”
“Before you start, can I tell you about the voices in my head.”
“You have voices in your head, Mr. Jenkins?”
“You are darn right I do. With me, Halley, I have two voices like on Saturday morning when there is usually a lazy Mr. Jenkins and an energetic Mr. Jenkins.
The Energetic Mr. Jenkins: Okay, Mr. Jenkins, time to get up.
The Lazy Mr. Jenkins: Forget it. I’m staying put. I want to sleep more.
The Energetic Mr. Jenkins: Come one, Lazy Bones, you can do it, if you want to.”
The Lazy Mr. Jenkins: Maybe, I don’t want to. Maybe, I need to stay in bed.”
The Energetic Mr. Jenkins: Look! What will people say? It will ruin your reputation as an active guy.”
The Lazy Mr. Jenkins: All right! But I don’t like it.
The Energetic Mr. Jenkins: You will. Believe me!
“Halley, it seems I have other voices, too: the negative Mr. Jenkins is always picking on me; the positive Mr. Jenkins encourages me that things can work out.”
“Is it scary?
I don’t think so. Sometimes, it can be bothersome. I have to tell the negative Mr. Jenkins or the Moody Mr. Jenkins to ‘get lost’, and then I listen to the positive Mr. Jenkins with the kind and good voice. But the other voice will butt in sometimes to annoy me. I just shut him out again.”
“You can do that?”
“Sure we can. We are the boss of our thoughts.”
“We sure are, but you gotta let them know you are the boss. Tell the other bad angel to go away.”
“I never thought of that.”
“Sure you can. Anyway research has shown that everybody gets crazy thoughts, negative thoughts. A lot of people don’t give them any mind. They ignore them. Those who have problems with their crazy and negative thoughts pay attention to them, listen to them and believe them.”
What would be worse if we didn’t have any voices. It is good to have a voice encouraging us to do the right thing. It is like a friend or a good angel; the other is like someone annoying in class or a bad angel. Just ignore them and concentrate on doing your best.”
“Gee, I thought I was the only one.”
“You aren’t. I think we all have voices in our heads. Some ignore them all together; some use the good voice to encourage them. Okay. Let’s do a mood log and Mr. Jenkins pulled out a sheet from his huge, binder.”
Bob-the-counsellor got Halley to write down what the problem was:
The Angel Voices in My Head
She circled all her feelings about that: down, anxious, worried, panicky, nervous, confused, defective, alone, self-conscious, foolish, discouraged, frustrated, stuck, thwarted, defeated, annoyed, overwhelmed and ashamed with most of them being over 80% strong.
“Well, Halley, you are having some pretty strong, negative feelings. When you are feeling down what are you thinking? What are you saying to yourself?”
“That I have a problem I can’t tell anyone about.”
“Why can’t you tell anyone?”
“People will think I am crazy.”
“Halley, write that thought down.”
END OF PART ONE
Go to Counselling Two Angels: Part 2
Most people like stories, and therapy is all about stories. Telling stories about powerful techniques used in TEAM CBT therapy demystify this therapy one story at a time.
Yet, confidentiality is a cornerstone of all counselling. Without confidentiality, clients wouldn’t feel safe going to therapy to divulge the most painful areas of their lives. To safeguard clients while illustrating TEAM CBT techniques, confidentiality is kept by either having the client’s consent or by distorting the facts, making the client unrecognizable .