HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF COUNSELLING KINESIOLOGY™
The Development of Counselling Kinesiology™
Counselling Kinesiology™ was developed by Gordon Dickson in the latter half of the 1980’s. It was the result of his search for the causes of emotional difficulties and relationship breakdown, and the contributions of emotional stress to physical health problems. As a professional clarinet player, under pressure to perform at high levels in opera and symphony orchestras in Australia and the Netherlands, he was certainly looking for something to help with his own stress related issues.
Through personally experiencing the relief of counselling talk therapy, the power of regression work, and the practical benefits of behaviour change therapy, he was keen to synthesize these into a new way of working with people. However, it was the the fortuitous discovery of muscle testing as a tool for identifying and targeting underlying stress in 1984, that brought this all together. The fact that muscle testing could access quite specific memories of past stressful events, often below the level of conscious awareness, was what made it all the more intriguing. Gordon named these the emotional references that maintain the current issues.
Limitations of Talk Therapy, Regression Work, Behaviour Change Therapy and Muscle Testing
This was in stark contrast to the often meandering nature of talk therapy. It could feel like talking endlessly about anything that came up, without a sense of focus or working towards a goal. Similarly, nondirective regression work could be a hit and miss affair too, often feeling like it was restimulating past emotional hurts but not resolving them.
Having started to undertake training in this nascent field of muscle testing for stress, he could also see the limitations of solely doing regression work based on the muscle testing results. It lacked the rapport and contextual understanding afforded by talk therapy. In addition, insights were not converted to practical changes without incorporating and practicing behaviour change exercises in day to day life. However, the de-stressing effects from reflex points redirecting brain blood flow gave muscle testing kinesiology an edge that talk therapy, regression work and practicing behaviour change exercises lacked.
The CK™ Synthesis – “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. “
It was the synthesis and integration of these separate fields that was the brainchild of Gordon Dickson, and with it Counselling Kinesiology™ was born. Muscle testing was able to target talk therapy and nondirective regression work to be able to focus on the issues that were causing or maintaining the current issues – the ’emotional references’. Gentle regression techniques were developed to resolve the stress, emotional pattern work to give insight, and integrative behaviour change exercises to make changes that stuck.
Gordon trailled these techniques in his clinical practice enabling his clients to make remarkable changes in very short periods of time.
CK™ for Relationship Issues
Gordon extended his work with individual clients to working with couples to unwind their interacting emotional patterns. Frequently he found that they were “dancing on each other’s most sensitive childhood wounds”. Harm that had occurred in their early relationships, could be healed in their adult ones.
This ultimately led to his development of the”Relationships Matrix™” chart for a couple, the conflicting and complementary elements of their interactions, why they were attracted to each other and how this broke down. His ‘Yin Yang Strengths Chart™’ was developed to identify these elements and his “CK™ Relationship Tasks” as exercises to assist relationship healing and harnessing these strengths.
The Developmental Directory™ and Grief Gauge™ Emotional States Charts
Having met his future wife Debra in 1986 (another fortuitous outcome of the muscle testing kinesiology training), they subsequently collaborated together and in 1996 developed their Grief Gauge™ Emotional states chart. This revealed the natural way of coming to terms with unwanted change and the emotions experienced along the way. Many months went into observing and collating ‘unpleasant’ emotions! It was organised into a framework synthesizing the major models of grieving and correlated to the General Emotional Adaptation Syndrome that Gordon had developed.
The following year they completed their Developmental Directory™ emotional states chart, plotting the trajectory of emotional needs and emotional strengths related to the successive developmental phases of childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. These became the unmet emotional needs and lack of emotional strengths associated with past hurts and traumas.
The DD™ & GG™ charts were used for clinic work and in the Counselling Kinesiology™ Training workshops that Debra and Gordon were presenting together.
Counselling Kinesiology™ Training
Having completed Naturopathic studies in 1989, Gordon was invited to develop and present kinesiology training for the Naturopathy Diploma at the Melbourne College of Naturopathy in 1990. Integrated Health Kinesiology 1 – “Naturopathic Kinesiology” was the result and there was much interest in an advanced unit presenting the Counselling Kinesiology™ that Gordon had been developing.
Integrated Health Kinesiology 2, as it was then called, soon outgrew the Naturopathy Diploma format. It developed to become a specialist training for kinesiologists wanting to work with people who were having personal or relationship difficulties. Counselling Kinesiology™ was expanded and separated into three levels –
- Counselling Kinesiology™ 1 – the foundation training for Resolving Emotional Stress
- Counselling Kinesiology™ 2 – Relationships Training
- Counselling Kinesiology™ 3 – Parenting Skills & Working with Children & Adolescents
It was taught in this format for over 12 years.
Whilst most of the participants took Counselling Kinesiology™ Training to become more effective in working with their clients, many also took it for their own personal development. They learned to use these techniques to enhance their own relationships and their roles as parents.
It was soon apparent that there were many non-kinesiologists who were wanting to do the Counselling Kinesiology™ Training to help their friends, family, colleagues and others with emotional issues. They were not wanting to become professional kinesiologists who used muscle testing to work with the whole range of structural, nutritional, neurological and health issues. Rather, they had a desire to use muscle testing as the amazing investigative tool that it is, to help people with their emotional issues.
Incorporating Positive Psychology, Coaching and Mindfulness
Many empathetic people with good communication skills, who are drawn to the talk therapies, had seen muscle testing as a powerful biofeedback tool to help get to the deeper issues. They were wanting to help other people with problems. Like Gordon and Debra, they also wanted to support people to embrace lives of engagement, purpose and meaning, and to support them to achieve their important goals in life.
To this end, Debra and Gordon did further training and research in Positive Psychology and Coaching. In mid 2008, following two years of rewriting and incorporating the study and research in Positive Psychology and Coaching, CK™ 1 was expanded into 75 hrs of training over seven months. Much of CK™ 3 was included in this. It incorporated distance education training components making it more available to people outside of major city centres.
Gordon went through all of the original Counselling Kinesiology™ material and expanded it in depth and scope, going over the background theory and practical application in much greater detail. In addition to the Positive Psychology and Coaching approaches, he added a vast array of targeted integrative exercises covering the enormous spectrum of emotional issues people can present with.
The training soon outgrew the 75 hrs allocated for it, and in 2013 CK™ 1 training was reaccredited as 116 hrs of training over 7 months, incorporating live interactive online webinars and detailed workbooks and worksheets (in addition to the hands-on training).
Expanded CK™ 2 Relationships Training
The CK™ 2 Relationships Training has also undergone a massive revision incorporating new findings from Gordon working intensely with many couples over the previous 10 years. It has been greatly expanded and will be reaccredited shortly.
Counselling Kinesiology™ continues to grow and develop, incorporating the very best of new developments in psychology, coaching and neuroscience that can be implemented in practical ways. Gordon and Debra’s aim remains to help people in their quests for happiness and well-being, and to train expert CK™ practitioners to facilitate this.
© 2017 Gordon Dickson, Counselling Kinesiology™