Parallel Thinking

Decent Essays
Counseling process tries to help people solve their problems. Many times a person suffers from maladaptive attitudes and thoughts” (Comer, pg. 188). If counseling is intended to help group members think “more deeply and thoroughly” how do we accomplish this goal (Gladding, pg. 198)? DeBono believed that “in ordinary unstructured thinking a person thoughts were unfocused” (Gladding, pg. 198). DeBono’s six hats looks at parallel thinking and how it differs from critical thinking.

Parallel thinking
DeBono was trying to find a way to make thinking more focused. His theory of the six hats was his attempt to do just that. Parallel thinking is a “process of thinking that is focused on a specific direction” (Gladding, pg. 197). Group members are encouraged to state “as many statements as possible in the category they are discussing like feelings or emotions” (Gladding, pg. 197). Other group members can also participate by offering “parallel statements of facts, knowledge and cautions” (Gladding, pg. 197).
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197). This parallel thinking approach, when practiced in group settings can prevent “an adversarial approach that tries to prove or disprove statements put forward by others” (Gladding, pg. 197). An example of parallel thinking was given in an anger management group for children. A story was read to a group “about a person who responded to a situation aggressively, the children and group leader discussed it and the children gave their reactions” (Gladding, pg. 192). This type of therapy is a way for the children “to see an alternative way of behaving and also that the behavior of the character in the story was not appropriate” (Gladding, pg. 192). DeBono found value in all participants looking at the same problem from the same perspective and removing the possible conflict from exploring
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