Crossing the Gap

The Big Launch

Hey, it’s you! You showed up to help me launch my blog! Thanks for joining me here and thanks for caring about how to help people grow and for being interested in growing yourself. Two big things on the agenda for today:

1) Announcing the winners of the Scholarship Giveaway contest!
2) My awesome video blog!

Below you’ll find the first in a series of weekly videos where I talk about the complexities and simplicities of human psychology and how to make use of them to make a difference for people and create change in counseling and coaching relationships. Below that, we’re announcing the winners of our Interchange scholarship contest!

Are you ready to launch? Here we go . . .

Crossing the Gap

Everyone is trying to make the journey from the life they were given to the life they dream could be possible for themselves.

There’s a secret most people don’t know about how to get there.

And it has something to do with this thing we call counseling. . .

Scholarship Giveaway Winners

The awesome power of random numbers has produced the winner of a Full Scholarship to the 2011-2012 year of Interchange, which begins on October 29th. Those random numbers have gone even further and decided the five people who will each receive a $500 Scholarship. Here they are:

Full Scholarship Winner

  • Amy Ratkovich

$500 Scholarship Winners

  • Kim Barty
  • Richard Pelorin
  • Carol Gunby
  • Joel Sousa
  • Karin Wertheim

Congratulations, y’all!  You have 3 days to use your scholarship to enroll (or gift your scholarship to a friend and have them enroll) so contact Margo at to get started.

One Last Thing: Your Questions

I recently returned from the Sierra Nevada mountains, where we filmed videos on overcoming fear (people get scared when climbing mountains), on peak experiences (filmed on a real mountain peak), and on how we’re all like streams taking the easiest possible route to reach our destination (though it doesn’t usually seem like it).

There’s a lot more coming, and part of what I’d like to do here is answer your questions: questions about the practicalities of counseling and coaching, and about the mysteries of how people tick. Send me your questions at, and I’ll answer them in upcoming video blogs.

View Video Transcript
Crossing the Gap
Steve Bearman
September 28, 2011

There is a gap that we are all trying to cross; crossing this gap is one of the primary tasks of any human life. On the nearside of the gap is the life you were given, the circumstances of your upbringing, how you learned you are supposed to be and not supposed to be as a person, what's expected of you. There kinds of opportunities that society lays out for you and expects you to take advantage of. On the far side of the gap is the life you dream could be possible for yourself. There are things that you wish you had in your life, things you wish you were capable of doing, things you want your life to be about. Even now as I am talking about them you are probably thinking about what some of the things are that for you are on the far side of the gap. We think about them all the time because crossing the gap is one of the only things that’s really worth doing, and because you think about this all the time you also know how challenging it is to get across. It can be hard to know what the right direction is to head in, or what the next steps are to take. You’ve probably had times when you’ve gotten lost, lost sight of the other side entirely. If you’re like most of us, most of the time that you wish you were crossing the gap, instead you find yourself wandering around that. If you want to keep moving forward instead of wandering around in the gap, you need guides, you need high quality consistent help, a help that’s not always easy to find. There is a name that I have for the art of helping people cross this gap. I call this art form counselling. Counselling is what you are doing when you devote energy and attention and love to helping people get from where they started out to where their souls are trying to take them, from the lives they were given to the lives they dream could be possible for themselves. So here you are in your own personnel journey trying to get from here to there, and you need help and counselling to do it, but you can’t help but notice that as you go there are these other people all around you, people you care about, who are also struggling to get across, and they need your help. Now here is a secret that most people don’t know. The fastest way to get across the gap is to help other people get across the gap. When you think about what it takes for someone else to get where they are going, you get better at understanding how to get there yourself. If you help somebody to draw a map or figure out a route from here to there your own maps and your own routes become clearer. If you help encourage somebody who wants to give up because the journey is so long you keep yourself from getting discouraged, and if you take somebody’s hand and walk with them a ways, then you’ve also got somebody’s hand who is walking with you. Counselling the people around you is the most powerful way to accelerate your own journey. Think about this for a minute, because whether or not you normally think of yourself as a counselor, there are all kinds of ways that you have already helped people to get where they are going. There are times when someone has been hurt and in pain because of the ways they have been hurt and you have loved them up and listened to them and helped them move through those painful feelings so they could heal, that’s counselling. There are times when someone has been lacking a skill or an ability that they desperately need and you have patiently helped them develop that ability, that’s counselling. There are times when someone has been stuck in limitations that you know aren’t really holding them back and you’ve helped them get free of those limiting beliefs, that’s counselling. All these acts of counseling, all help people get where they are trying to go. You are already a counselor, perhaps you have always been a counselor and the better you get at it the clearer your own path becomes. If you are watching this video it probably means that not only are you on your own journey trying to learn about how to get where you are going, but you want to help other people get where they are going as well. And as it turns out, helping other people get where they are going is the most powerful way to learn how to get where you want to go. I am really happy that you are here with me and that we get to be in this together. Getting to the other side and figuring how to help people get there is what I am all about, and it's what Interchange is all about, and it’s what you are all about. We get to all help each other across because the journey across navigating the gap is not just something that individuals do; our communities, our societies are also on a kind of journey, and on the other side of that journey is the kind of society that we all wish we could live in. The more we help each other get across, the faster we can bring that kind of world into being.

About the Author

Steve Bearman, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He founded Interchange Counseling Institute in 2002 and is the lead teacher of Interchange's San Francisco-based year-long counseling and coaching training. When he's not counseling people, leading workshops, and advocating for social justice, Steve climbs mountains, adventures in the urban wilderness, explores the edges and limits of what's possible, deconstructs everything, and finds new ways to put it all back together.