Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog is intended to give you a flavour of how I work as a counsellor. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links above.
What I would it be like to meet yourself? Do you think the two of you would get on well together? Or would you dislike each other? Would you find yourself interesting company, or a crashing bore? Would you rub along OK together, or would it be an overly competitive relationship?
To imagine that you meet yourself, or someone with similar character traits to yourself can be an interesting party game to play, but at a deeper level, it can also be quite enlightening. It is, of course the case that others see us differently to how we see ourselves, and this is commonly represented in the “Johari Window” (see diagram).
This model divides our self-knowledge into four areas :-
- The Public Self is known both to me and to others. This is the face we show every day; for most of us this is the largest of the four areas.
- The Private Self is known to me but not to others. For all of us, there are things we would do, say or think in private that we would not wish others to know about.
- The Hidden Self is known to others but not to me. This may sound strange at first, but you can probably think of examples relating to yourself – maybe people have said things about you that you don’t agree with; have others commented that you are strange, bossy, shy, flirtatious, confident, optimistic? Do you see yourself in the same way?
- The Unknown Self is known neither to you nor to others. You might not be able to identify anything that fits into this part of the window. But then, by definition, you wouldn’t be able to, would you?
The model itself is thought-provoking, but like all models is a simplificiation; in fact we have different Johari Windows in different situations – things that my partner knows about me will be different from what my boss knows; the public self I show to my parents will be different from that which I show to my friends; and every one of my friends and relations will have different opinions about me, so my hidden self will vary from one relationship to the next.
Thinking about that meeting with yourself is one way to explore this window, and the process of counselling will often change the relative sizes of the windows. Commonly, you will discover things about yourself that you were not wholly aware of, so that the horizontal line moves down the window; your “self consciousness” increases. It may also be that the vertical line moves; you may find it becomes easier to express your feelings, so that the vertical line moves to the right. Or you may come to counselling wanting to change some behaviours, for instance to be less “needy”, so that the vertical line moves to the left. By exploring and understanding yourself – by mentally meeting yourself in counselling – you can increase your understanding and so change some of the choices you make.
Footnote: The story goes that the name “Johari” is not one with mystical significance, but was devised by the co-creators of the model, whose first names were Joe and Harry!