The Rationale for Personal Development and Training


The fundamental rationale for personal development can be understood from the requirement to understand one’s own human needs, together with spiritual, psychological and social development, because a failure to understand this regarding one’s own self is unthinkable if trying to comprehend and relate to other human beings in any meaningful way.

An individual’s development can be perceived in many different ways; for instance as in Freud’s Psychosexual Development Theory (Marshall, 2004) which looks at levels of sexual development and the frustrations connected to each phase, or Havighurst’s Developmental Stages (Sugarman, 1986) and Duties which identifies:

Tasks that arise from physical growth

Tasks that arise from personal values

Tasks which have their source in the pressures of society

or by means of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs(Maslow, 1998).

Or indeed by way of any of the other methods and theories that have been developed, plus which may be studied and related to the needs of a counsellor within training, e. g.:

Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Advancement Theory

Piaget’s Phases of Cognitive Development

Kohlberg’s Phases of Moral Development

Gilligan’s Theory of Moral Development

Which is to mention but a few, and some of which will mean more to one individual than to another.

What is really important is the core condition of identifying ourselves and others as human beings with developmental needs and even developmental constructs, the understanding of which is paramount to allowing a real understanding of the human development processes and the requirements required in order to work towards living a contented and fulfilled presence for ourselves, and for engaging meaningfully with others operating towards the same.

An individual’s decisions are often influenced by interpersonal construction, by adapting our personality to fit in with the particular expectations of friends, family and employers; whilst in relation to every other person we may act in response to our own unconscious and psychologically fuelled expectations. The person we are depends upon our life encounters and feedback from others about how we inter-relate along with those people with whom we come into contact, as well as the physical, social and spiritual worlds in which we find ourselves. If we should be able to relate to others whose personal construct and developmental processes that have led to what they have become with any actual empathy and congruence, we must first understand our own build. In taking responsibility for learning about our own emotional together with social actions, understanding and development, we act legitimately; but allowing our social construct to make choices for all of us could be seen as acting un-authentically.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Requirements takes a premise that once the most basic human needs tend to be met it becomes possible to progress through successively more advanced amounts of need, to culminate in ‘self actualisation’. If we participate in exploring this process we allow ourselves the opportunity to develop a partnership with one’s self which leads to and enables typically the establishment of a more understanding relationship with others.

This particular hierarchy of needs is based on a ‘Humanistic’ approach and also the concept of ‘self actualisation’ as described by Carl Rogers, who stressed that self-awareness of the person, on a mindful level, is the most important way to work in understanding behaviour by causing reference to the internal framework (Rogers, 1961).

Looking at Kohlberg’s periods of moral development (Kegan, 1983) helps us to understand in which a person might have difficulties if they have not undergone such ethical development through lack of cultural or social contact, or even through lack of understanding.

It is only by developing our own comprehension of personal development theories and practices that we can develop the abilities and practices to help others who are suffering from some insufficient personal development or some misguided thinking developed during their childhood.

Hazel Johns in her book on personal improvement in counsellor training (Johns, 1996) states what the girl minimum outline for development in counselling should include:

To understand and unlearn

To have enough sense of identity to outlive and flourish in personal development and personal relationships

To love and become loved enough

To have sufficient self esteem and personal power to deal with dependence, independence and interdependence

To be resourceful and innovative

To notice and oppose oppression in whatever form it is about

To be strong and vulnerable, tough and tender because needed

To understand and apply theory and skills relevantly to themselves and others

To grow in clarity about honest standards and never be complacent

To be aware of their own and others requirement for support and challenge

To have a range of effective ways of being by yourself and in a group

To see and feel connections with a broader society and world; to be political and care about modify, however they live that out.

I would take this further and state that these are things that every enlightened individual needs as an describe for their personal development in order to be a success in any form of connection, no matter if that be personal or business based and i also would add to this list:

To communicate clearly

To have an perception of the spiritual

To understand basic mental health issues and how these people affect themselves and others


To understand the linkages among physical, mental and spiritual needs

It would be easy for the non-spiritual person to ignore or overlook what can be a very strong support or conversely a very damaging practice great person. Understanding the difference between on the one hand spirituality or religious practices and on the other hand religion and religious methods is essential, as the first can be extremely supportive and the latter highly destructive when teachings and practices are restrictive and/ or unnatural.

Everyone entering into a working relationship with you has got the right to expect you as a professional, in any context, to be able and well enough equipped to be able to attend to their specific requirements, and this places great demands on the professional’s emotional sources.

Professionals obviously have needs of their own and those drawn in to the ‘helping professions’ are often more comfortable giving than receiving, therefore it is essential that we recognise from the outset that self-awareness, self-motivation, option and the capacity to consider alternatives are intrinsic to the human being condition of identity and change; hence we need the opportunity to build relationships and focus upon these things in order to be fully equipped for just about any role we are aiming to undertake.

Personal development is essential towards the professional no matter what sector they work in, and the chance to engage not only in personal reflection but also in working on this particular personal development with someone having the understanding of the various developing theories, at both a personal level and in relation to several people with various backgrounds, cultures and upbringing who are introduced together through attending a developmental course is a essential opportunity.

The advantage of engaging in a personal development training course is that the training course provides: A safe place to learn, the opportunity to explore different knowing and approaches to theories and explore the relational individuality of a diverse group of people willing to engage in the same subject matter combined with the support of knowledgeable trainers to remedy incorrect understanding as well as practices and an opportunity to be introduced to theories that may not need previously been encountered.

It is therefore essential to commit to ted mcgrath growth at the outset of and throughout training and professional exercise of any sort in order to be the best we can be. Additionally it is important to actively seek and engage with such training right after beginning a professional career by attending conferences and training courses dedicated to further personal development, and opportunities for this can be found through Indulgence Un-limited as well as other professional organisations.


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