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December 18, 2017

I Went to a Garden Party - Counseling Metaphor

By Dr. Richard Boyum

Have you ever thought of the variety of people we serve as flowers? Flowers come with a widely diverse array of offerings. They come in many colors, many shapes, many different heights, and there are early, middle, and late bloomers, attractive and unattractive, domesticated and wild. But, each immediately, others are more subtly.

We may pass them by unless we take the time to see them for what they are. Some f1owers' beauty is best observed up close and personal. Some flowers are best recognized and honored when they stand alone, at other times the same flower or another breed or type is most effective when mixed with a variety of others.

Each flower has its own time and space. They each have their own niche in nature with something to offer that somehow makes the world we live in a better place. Some flowers require more water, some less. Some require more nutrients, some less. Some require great levels of care and cultivation, others require none at all and take care of themselves. Some prefer warmth, some prefer cold. Some flowers like a great deal of light, others prefer shade. But as always, flowers enrich and make our lives a better place.

And so it is with the people we serve. A goal as counselors is often to help those we counsel understand the type of flower that they are. It is important for us as professionals to see the diverse beauty that all of the students we work with provide. The greater array of flowers, the more beautiful a formal garden or nature's garden looks. Now, if you agree with this metaphor, see if you can do the same thing with birds.