My name is Tim Singer and I am a life counselor. Let me explain to you my maieutic technique. Never heard about it? So, here it is!
All of us we know what's wrong with ourselves. We live with our body and no one else knows better than us what the answers are to our problems. It is even more so when it comes to our mental health.
The problem is we have lost the way to find the answers! For someone hungry it is better to teach him how to fish rather than give fish. The same happens with you: you don't need someone to tell you what to do but to help you find the answers that you harbor. You need someone to teach you to fish in your brain.
Socrates, an ancient Greek philosopher, used this method with his pupils and anyone he discussed with. By using questions, he got everyone to find the truth on their own. The method has been called the maieutic method because it means delivering! His mom was a midwife and like all midwives, they don't really deliver the baby but help the mother to deliver. This is called in ancient Greek: maieutic or the art of delivering.
Socrates used this method to great effects, managing by questions to get anyone to find the truth even after they had uttered a wrong idea.
This maieutic method has been a bit forgotten but is making its coming back in education under other names such as heuristic or the Socratic method. Sure, we need the tools of knowledge. But in this age of overflowing information we also need to be able to find the truth. And this truth, we harbor it. It's a bit like an huge heap of information: we need help to fish out the one needed.
In modern psychology we are either faced with a silent psychologist waiting for us to find the answer through, hopefully, liberating recounting. Or we are faced with a psychologist giving us a five steps pre-rehearsed menu that should solve our problem. The beauty of the maieutic technique which is a non medical approach is that you find the solution on your own. It may be described as midway between "you're on your own" and "I've got the cook-book". The "silent way" may take you many months or years to find the solution, the cook-book way looks easier but never gives you the real taste of the food!
The maieutic way will give you faster results than the "silent way" and will give you "the unimaginable pleasure of knowing you had the solution". All that without intruding in your mental processes. Just helping you to fish it out.
Once you find the solution, the happiness that it comes from you is exhilarating and therapeutic. You started with negative thoughts about your problems and you end up discovering you know the answer! Nothing can have a more positive effect and you’ll make a habit of it.
If you cut yourself wide open, the surgeon will not heal you. He will just help your body to heal by suturing the wound. The real healer is your own body. The same applies to your mental health: your brain has all the solutions, maieutic just helps fish them out!
Say you have a problem dealing with a family member. You don't know how to handle the situation and you have had many unsuccessful tries. Or it can also be you having difficulties out of your depression. You need help to get out of this situation.
An appointment is made and half an hour is set up. You phone me on my Skype contact and we'll start the session straight away. You explain your problem and once in while I'll ask you a question. When I suspect that you are nearer to find the response to your problem I may ask you more questions in a shorter amount of time. That's because you're almost there and I don't want you to lose the plot.
I travel a lot around the world and I don't do face to face anymore. It also allows you to be at ease, in your most comfortable attire and your preferred seat. Just make sure you don't get distracted!
You have Skype or you'll get it. Skype to Skype cost nothing and allows people to speak across the world for free. Whenever it disconnects (it does happen) just call back! You call back, not me. So, the both of us we avoid getting a busy signal. I do not use any web cam for those sessions: it is too distracting!
My Skype name: timsinger1
It can be very tiring for you. From experience I know that twice half an hour produces more than an hour because in the meantime, you gather your thoughts. Either you find the solution: that's what you want! Or you need another half an hour but this time, no point in getting back to all the problem. You and me, we know about it by now and you'll get closer and faster to the solution.
About 60% of the time: 1 session is enough. Very seldom would you need more than 3 sessions.
24 hours is best. You have to make an appointment each time.
It is a good thing to gather your ideas in advance and jolt down a few notes about the problem you have. Send them to me to get things going faster. Once I have accepted, you just have to pay your session with PayPal. Once this is confirmed, you'll make an appointment within 24 hours and we'll start on time. Make the appointment using the form.
You'll know when you have found the response. Send me a small message so I can enjoy your happiness. And don't forget to thank yourself! You've done the hard work, I'm just doing the delivery!
Let's have a look again at the fishing technique. If you go fishing without any knowledge, apart from the proverbial beginner's luck, you have very little chance to catch any. If you go with an experienced fisherman, the chances increase tremendously. He is like you: he does not know where the fish is, but he knows how to look for it and explore the area.
This is the same with maieutic. The counselor does not know the answer to your problem but he can help you, through questioning, to explore your mind in search of the answer. You are lost, not because you don't have the answer: you do have it! But you're so stressed that you have difficulties finding it in between a train of thoughts making you run all over the place, getting more stressed and more tired. In a vicious cycle, the more you look for it the more stressed you get and the less you can find it. The counsellor’s questions help you explore in a better way. To ask you the right questions, the counselor enters in a state of active listening. Passive listening is useless. Active listening is the ability to understand what you are saying and finding the revealing symbols behind it. You are thinking “what's the answer?” Your counselor is thinking “where could the answer be?” You are in the wood and you only see trees. He sees the wood and helps you look behind the trees. He helps you listen to yourself and find that diamond: the response to your problems. Because the healer is you!
I started my life in the army not too sure what I wanted to do but knowing that people’s suffering interested me. Because over the years I had helped a number of my fellows, I became a life counselor. One day, whilst I was giving a talk about it, one of the doctors told me “You’re like Socrates, you practice maieutic”. I had no idea what he was talking about! So,I started reading Plato’s books. Socrates did not leave any known writings but Plato, another philosopher and Socrates’ pupil, wrote a lot about him. Over the years, reading philosophy and psychology writings I got more and more enthused about the Socratic method, maieutic, as a way of helping people to find the answer within themselves. “Taping into your own power”, “Freedom to be yourself”, “Empowering yourself” became my mottos!
I have retired but after a few years I found that I was carrying on with people I met and with people who were sent to me. Because I move around quite a bit, I started helping over the phone. Writing is too bland to do it but over the phone I can still have an active listening with the tone and the body language used (you know if someone on the phone is smiling). Also, the phone takes out all the distracting features that are only disturbing such as clothing, mirror attitudes etc. that keep many modern psychologists too busy with. It also removes the barrier of a desk, the formality of a practice and the unfriendliness of a waiting room.
I am not there to judge you and I will respect your confidentiality. You may introduce yourself with a pseudo or a nickname. I don’t need to know where you live.
When you make your payment on PayPal, just write a note with the name you want me to call you and a very short summary of your problem.
Mrs. X. had been suffering from chronic low back pain for years. She had multiple histories of injuries. But she always came back to her brother in unusual and unrelated circumstances. Within 20 minutes of a few questions she turned angrily against me but without mentioning me! Asking a question about her brother, she suddenly realized that the bullying from her brother had created a “false low back pain” to keep him at bay. She suddenly felt much better.
Mr. Y. was getting a lot of panic attacks and some scattered pains. His son was hospitalized for schizophrenia. He thought he was a bad father because he could not help him. After a few questions he suddenly realized his son was getting the best and most specialized treatment possible and that he was not at fault because he was only his father, albeit very concerned, but uneducated to take care of his son. He also realized that had he been educated in this field his son was getting a better care than he could have provided.
Those stories are shortened for the sake of clarity. In both of them, the sufferers found the solution by themselves and it was a delivery from a complicated history that had made their life miserable. Stress is an important factor that tremendously aggravates any problem. I personally had no knowledge or clue about why they were stressed. Only they could find out! And what a delivery it was when they found the clue that had been buried in them for so long. I am not sure the result would have been so dramatic if I had found the clue myself!
Remember that stress is part of our lives. But it is that little drop that makes it overflow or that big story that fills up the whole jug!
Tim Singer, Life Counselor
Skype name: timsinger1