What is psychological counseling?
The purpose of counseling is to assist people in making choices. Usually these choices involve decisions or actions which will greatly affect the person's current life and personal development. Thus they frequently produce great anxiety. We emphasize interaction between the client and counselor in finding a solution together, rather than the prescription of a course of action by a therapist.
Counseling and Psychotherapy
Many authorities feel that counseling and psychotherapy are the same. However, some distinction may be made between the two. Counseling involves a process more concerned with giving advice and information in the form of alternatives, which the client can try. Psychotherapy involves facilitating a positive personality change. Both processes can help and often occur at the same time. We believe that the client / patient has an active choice in which of the two he or she will accept and find most useful.
Who Benefits from Counseling / Psychotherapy ?
People who benefit from counseling come from many backgrounds. Their needs differ and their problems are diverse. Most people involved in counseling suffer from some degree of emotional distress. This is usually caused by situational stress factors such as marital difficulties, emotional growth, life-stage changes, unresolved personality problems, or traumatic events.
Why is counseling needed?
Certain characteristics of the American Social order require that counseling be woven into our social structure. The following are some prime elements which contribute to our society's need for Counseling / Psychotherapy:
- Rapid Social Change: Ours has been called the age of anxiety. Family stability is crumbling. The divorce rate is escalating; the broken home is commonplace. World stability seems unlikely. These things combine to make people feel unsure of their lives, their purpose and their future.
- Complex Occupational World: High pressure and achievement needs characterize the occupational world. These are complicated by situational ethics interacting with job demands and office politics.
- The loss of certainty: Traditional anchors no longer help hold us steady in times of crisis. Fewer people have anchors like a strong family unit or growing up in a neighborhood with people who share similar views about life and who offer strength in support of personal endeavors. Friendship groups fade into the past and new ones must be formed.
- Scarcity of Informal Counseling: In the past, people often shared their lives with family and friends. Today privacy is more highly valued. People do not have as much time for each other. They do not want to tell friends and family of their problems, nor do they want to hear the problems of others. There are fewer opportunities to discuss feelings with Aunts, Uncles, or Grandparents. These changes have created a need for professional counseling.