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Isn't it pretty?

Friday, March 26, 2004

Counseling

During Spring Break, I had two big missions to accomplish: 1) To clean for Pesach, and 2) To write a good portion of my paper for my Counseling class. Unfortunately, I have failed miserably at both. As for Pesach cleaning, my roommate and I decided to sell our kitchen for the week of Pesach so that we don't have to deal with it all. That just leaves my room and the living room, which won't be too bad. Should be able to take care of it at the last second. My paper, however, is a completely different issue. The assignment is to develop my person integrated approach to counseling. I decided on the theories I want to include, found some great journal articles, read my textbook. You would think I would be ready to write. However, I find myself completely at a loss as to how to even start. I think my problem is that I am having trouble reconciling my feelings about the nature of therapy altogether. Now, please don't get me wrong, I absolutely think that there are people out there who do need serious professional help. I think there are people who have real issues, who have been abused and neglected and have serious psychological issues. But I think I am having trouble with whether I really believe that there are so many people in the world who need to pay a stranger to give them advice (don't jump on me yet, I know that counseling is not about giving advice, but I do think that many people go to therapy seeking advice). Many people these days seem to feel that everyone could use professional counseling, and I don't know if I am ready to agree with that. I also have a problem with the idea of being a therapist with the mentality of being there to fix other people's problems. What gives the common therapist the qualifications to do that? Because they are so well-adjusted? Mass numbers of people being in therapy is a relatively new concept. What has changed that has caused so many people to feel they need professional help with their problems? I am afraid that therapy will cause people to seek out strangers to help them rather than relying on the people who are already in their lives. I feel like this could cause a lot of resentment and eventually, the breakdown of a lot of relationships rather than the mending of them. I wonder about the fact that so many people these days are on anti-depressive , anti-anxiety and other medications. Is therapy helping these people? Or are these people going to therapy looking for easy answers to their problems? And are those therapists giving them the impression that there are easy answers to many of life's most difficult issues? I don't think all therapy is bad, I don't want anyone to think that. But I think these are some of the reasons I am having a hard time writing about my approach to counseling. I am not sure I believe in what I have to write about.

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