I talk a lot about counseling. I’ll go on and on about it but what does it really mean and most importantly how it helps?
I am an Indian, so by default I am surrounded by people who speak in computer language. But sometimes I feel lost between them. They take it for granted that everyone must be aware of their basic terms like Download, WiFi, Java etc. I try to keep pace but sometimes it sounds like gibberish and I lose my interest. On observation, I found out that most of the professionals do this; they mix their own basic terminology and unconsciously expect the whole world to understand it.
I am no exception. When I talk to people I expect them to know the meaning of Psychology, Mental Health, Counseling etc.
If a person is not able to understand the basic terminologies,
how do you expect them to follow your discussion. It is more
like standing in a crowd where people are talking in a language,
which you have no clue about. Certainly you will loose your audience, let
alone convey your message to them.
So, today I decided to break this thought and start with the basics of counseling.
The first doubt which I want to clear is the difference between a Psychiatrist & a Psychologist. This is the most common place, where I have seen, a lot of people getting confused.
1. The major difference is in their degrees; A Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor ( M.B.B.S.) while a Psychologist has Psychology Degree.
2. A Psychiatrist can prescribe you medication while a Psychologist uses psychotherapy/ counseling like behavioral, Psychoanalytic, Humanistic, Cognitive therapy etc.
3. Psychiatrist usually deals with mentally sick patients while a Psychologist caters to the wellness of emotional& mental health.
So here, I am going to be talking about Psychologist, for the simple reason that I am one.
So, what we basically do is Psychotherapy/Counseling. A lot of therapists are going to have a problem with this statement of mine because if we go deep down in Psychology there are some minute differences between these two.
The goal of this post is to make things easier to understand and to stick to our aim, we are going to use counseling for both counseling & psychotherapy. Lets try to understand what exactly is Counseling first, I am sharing a definition which makes a lot of sense to me:
According to the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland, COSCA: ” Counselling and psychotherapy are ways of responding to a wide range of human needs. Counselling and psychotherapy provide opportunities for those seeking help to work towards ways of living in more satisfying and resourceful ways. ”
Counseling is not only about the major problems of life but is a tool which could help you resolve something as simple as every day’s issue and concerns. It helps you make full use of your potentials and allows you to get rid of the hindrances in leading a happy and contended life.
A lot of people think that if you’re seeking the help of someone else you are weak. This is a myth because counseling empowers you. Sometime you, yourself aren’t aware of your strengths, finding those hidden strengths is a byproduct of the counseling process. It makes you more independent than ever.
A Psychologist is a non judgmental person, who helps you in understanding your problem and working on it objectively in a methodological way. In counseling, you will never be told what to do instead the options are laid in front of you and you are equipped with skills to help you choose the best option for yourself.
I love to give this example to understand it in a better way;
I am sure all of us has been photographed whether we like it or not. We always ask ( or want to ask) the camera man about how are we looking?
Why do we do it?
Simple, because the cameraman can see the picture and we can’t. Same is the case with our lives, sometimes we get so entangled in the details that we can’t see the full view objectively.
You have been given a life, go ahead nurture it, if anything is stopping you to do so, you now know what to do about it 🙂
- Work and Mental Health (psychologytoday.com)
- Why Online Counseling? (unwrappingminds.wordpress.com)
- Counseling Theories (jacobam.wordpress.com)
- The Sorry State of ‘ Mental Health’ in India (unwrappingminds.wordpress.com)