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Self-Confrontation Method

A word about SCM, the Self-Confrontation Method

Most sites on SCM are in Dutch and I will therefore give some additional information on this tool for the non-Dutch speakers. For the Acceptance and Commitment Theory, I would like to refer you to the ACT website: www.contextualpsychology.org.

The Self-Confrontation Method and the Valuation Theory were developed by Hubert J. Hermans, PhD, former Professor of Psychology at the Department of Clinical Psychology and Personality of the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. The theory assumes that we give meaning to ourselves, to our environment, and our life. The model uses self-narratives – the stories that we use to construct meaning out of events in our lives – for counseling.

According to the theory, there are two universal and basic motives for our behaviour, which function on a latent level. On the one hand, every person is striving for self-enhancement, expressed in feelings like self-esteem, strength, self-confidence, and pride. On the other hand, every person longs for contact and union with the other, i.e. contact with other people, and the surrounding world. This basic motive is expressed in feelings like caring, love, tenderness, and intimacy.

The Self-Confrontation Method allows a person to see these basic motives in their career and personal life. Once you start to see the underlying personal motives (drives), you will also start to see how certain behaviour strategies have helped you in some situations and how they have hampered you in others. This can be in your career or in your personal life. Once you start to observe yourself, you will become aware of your true qualities and pitfalls, and this will lead to change.

Generally speaking, enhanced self-knowledge results in greater flexibility and will allow the coachee to initiate changes more easily. The person will have more control over his or her behaviour and circumstances, and will be less influenced by external circumstances. He or she will be better equipped to take responsibility for his or her own career development or personal life.

SCM has long been supported by the research program ‘Valuation and Motivation' at the University of Nijmegen. This program received international recognition and is among the best academic research in The Netherlands. Counselors trained in the Self-Confrontation Method are registered. The training has been certified by NIP, The Dutch Association of Psychologists.

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