Unit 3 – Resource- / Competences Pathway

Following the use of the Basic Clearing method it may have been identified whether further interventions are suitable. This includes the Resource- and Competences Pathway; Planning Pathways, Islands of Emotions, and Inner Images – which we will look at in the following units.

In this unit, you will learn more about the Resource- and Competences Pathway, its purpose, materials, and application. 


Learners know how to

  • work efficiently with the intervention “Resource- and Competences Pathway”; and use the materials to guide the client.
  • take advantage of the versatility of the materials.
  • identify necessary adjustments to the laid down time frame, according to the goal and aim of the client.


Learners are able to

  • independently assist clients in defining their theme, question, goal or aim.
  • encourage and help clients to work with the material to structure their plans within the context of time.
  • lead clients into thinking about their life situtation and resources at their hand.
  • adjust the time frame represented by the materials according to the needs of the client.


Learners have the competence to

  • independently prepare and structure this method and use the materials accordingly for this intervention in order to guide the clients professionally through this process.
  • independently adjust and adapt the materials of the method according to the needs and requirements of the client, to allow proper guidance and counselling.

Resource-/ Competences Pathway

The Resource- and Competences Pathway is a method used when the client wants to assess their own potential and assets in life which they can rely on to achieve their set objective for the counselling session. Thus, identifying the strengths of a client and highlighting reliable key aspects useful for achieving their goal.

Find below a list of materials used in the method, as well as a step by step explanation on how it works.

The materials


For this method, you will need a set of symbols. We recommend a set of approximately 200 symbols to allow the client to choose more freely and find a good representing symbol for their interpretation. You can refer to the list of possible symbols you received in Unit 1.

Cards representing years

The Pathway cards feature different numbers and colours and can be structured as years or other time frames of the client’s life.

A parking sign and white sheet of paper

The parking is included in the method’s material case. The parking sign, together with the white sheet of paper, represents a space for resources and competences.

Process of counselling with the Resource- and Competences Pathway

  1. Presentation
  2. Factual Questions
  3. Perception
  4. Interpretation
  5. Agreement and evaluation


First the client chooses a goal they want to work towards and also selects symbols representing that goal. Afterwards they place the symbols for the goal to the respective card.

Beginning from the card representing the goal, they leave a space for future activities and lay out cards symbolising the various years of their life, starting from the current age back to their birth.

Once the cards are arranged, the client chooses symbols to signify special events in their life that shaped them as a person and place them beside the respective cards. Clients are given two questions during this step:

  • “Who am I”
  • “What am I good at?”

Based on these questions they choose symbols for the years of their lives where they developed personally and acquired a competence or resource.

As the questions are placed on either side of the pathway, symbols are also put beside the respective cards. Symbols for important life events should also be added.

It is important to know that not every card needs a symbol.

Step 1 – Presentation

After laying out their work, the client presents it and then, chooses five symbols from the pathway representing competences and resources.

The practitioner places a white sheet of paper and a parking sign on the empty space between the goal and the current age. The chosen symbols are put on the white sheets, the “parking lot”. These symbols represent assets they consider the most useful for reaching their objective.

Step 2 – Factual questions

Once the presentation is completed, the practitioner and the support group, if there is one, can ask factual questions. These factual questions should not include any interpretations but are clarifying general questions.

For example:

“What did you say about this symbol?” or

“I did not hear this clearly, could you please repeat it?”

Statements like

“I think this was more important to you because your voice got louder when presenting it.” or

“Did you get more nervous towards the end because you touched more symbols?” are not included in this step.

Step 3 – Perception

Once all questions are covered, the practitioner shares their perception of the client’s work and presentation.

These observations can be about

  • body language, for example, movements of the face or gestures,
  • pitch of the voice
  • actions, for example, interacting with a symbol.

This step should only include pure observations, for example,

“You touched this symbol when you explained this” and should not include interpretations, for example,

“When you explained this, you touched this symbol, which might mean it is more important to you than the others.”

Step 4 – Interpretation

After the perceptions are shared, the practitioner moves onto the interpretation.

During this step, the practitioner and the supporting group, if there is one, share their interpretations on the client’s work and presentation, as if talking to themselves.

The client’s task is just listening, not interrupting or explaining anything during this step. They can voice their agreement or disagreement with the said interpretation in the next step.

The group, together with the practitioner, is allowed to discuss their interpretation together during this stage, as long as they are talking to each other and not the client.

Step 5 – Agreement and evaluation

Only afterwards, once the practitioner and supporting group is done, the client shares their agreement or disagreement, their surprise, or their realisation of something about themselves, with the others. They can also discuss points with the practitioner and supporting group if they are unsure about something or would like to discuss something further.

After discussing the chosen symbols, the counsellor and client discuss if the client thinks these strengths are sufficient or if anything else might be needed to achieve their goal. The practitioner should try to avoid having the client choose an excessive number of additional symbols and resources and let them focus and evaluate the strengths needed to reach the goal.

Have you completed all the content of this unit? Please take a moment to review. Done? Please proceed to Unit 4.
For any open questions, please consult the Resource tab or contact your course leader.