Why do you call yourself Almond Tree Counseling Services?

Why do you call yourself Almond Tree Counseling Services?

by Dieter Miss

This seems to be a question with multiple perspectives. Let’s begin with the more obvious answers.

Hélène, our director, has been a social worker and counselor for many years. Her experience is covering all age groups, from young school students, who needed guidance during the early years of their rising lifetime, to those stricken by the many years of their slowly setting lifetime. Life as a whole is in her focus, but especially the lives of those, who are not able to participate in the ever accelerating social life of our time any more, due to limitations caused by illness or simply by age.

She found in recent years that many people who are in need of counseling are not able to visit a counselor, because of their limitations as mentioned earlier. We usually say that “I (or we) go to counseling”, because in a usual setting counseling takes place in the counselor’s office. However, what if you just cannot go there? This is where our service comes in. Almond Tree Counseling Services is an in-home service for those who are homebound: the counselor comes to you! We understand, accept and respect your limited mobility and serve you in the comfort of your own home.

Dieter, our spiritual advisor, has made the same experiences from a slightly different angle. He served many people here and abroad and knows well, what life can throw at you, causing you to lose faith in God, but also in yourself. If you need support beyond the psychological treatment of counseling, he will be glad to visit you, listen to you and then explore with you what threatens your faith, what has diminished it and how to eventually regain confidence in a life with perspectives and comfort that comes from the source of all life. He prays for you, like all members of our team at Almond Tree Counseling Services do, even if you do not need or want his service.

The answer to the other parts of the question, regarding the Almond Tree, reveal not only the focus of our new venture with all its goals and objectives, but also where we as counselors and advisors are grounded and rooted – historically, psychologically and spiritually. The answer is certainly less obvious and more complicated than the previous, but hopefully not less interesting.

We have – after long discussions – decided to name our start-up counseling service after a symbol of hope which is known to mankind, at least in our western hemisphere, for millennia. The biblical book of Qoheleth, known to the judaeo-christian tradition also as Ecclesiastes, which is traditionally attributed to the wise king Salomon, uses the Almond Tree as a comparison to people of advanced age and says about them: the Almond Tree will blossom (chapter 12, verse 5). In the context of Qoheleth-Ecclesiastes, the gloomy, but very down-to earth philosopher of the Bible, our symbol is just the description (and not meant in a flattering way at all) of the later stages of life: the Almond Tree in full bloom seen from a distance can easily be compared to a head of white hair. A head of white hair is something we naturally associate with advanced age, caused by grief and loss, fear, sorrows and many other stress factors. It is a sign of life experience – of life as we all know it, with all its ups, but especially with all its downs. Life and time leave their traces on a person and the Almond Tree is a symbol for those many traces.

The aspect of hope, the positive side of the symbolism of the Almond Tree, is drawn from other biblical traditions. In the book of Numbers (chapter 17), the second book of the Hebrew Torah, we can read about staffs. In many depictions of biblical persons they are present. A staff, you need to know, was made of wood, dry and hardened over time and used in biblical times as a walking cane, but also as a weapon of self-defense against ferocious animals who threatened the herds of sheep, the livelihood of these biblical people.

In the story taken from the book of Numbers, the staff of Moses’ brother Aaron, made of the wood of an Almond Tree, began to bloom unexpectedly. A piece of wood, considered dry and dead, came back to the full bloom of life, even yielding fruits, making the bearer of this symbol a very special and important person.

And here we are back to our Almond Tree Counseling Services. For us, You are that very special and important person symbolized by the Almond Tree. You are the center of our attention. You may be homebound, but we are deeply convinced that your life has potential. We understand, accept and respect your limitations and would like to serve you, where you are – in your own home.

We want to serve and help you to regain the control of your life as much as possible, support you to develop all your potentials and bloom again to an emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy life.