From the desk of a psychologist!

Posts tagged ‘Psychotherapy’

Counseling Simplified!

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 PsychologyMental HealthCounseling 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 🙂

Advertisements

Why Online Counseling?

When I decided to choose the line of psychology and become a therapist, I never thought I’ll one day advocate Online Counseling. To be very honest, in our time there was no field  called as online counseling. Technology was still finding its place at that time. I had the full intention of becoming a traditional counselor and I did so too. Gradually I started hearing the term ” online counseling” and I thought must be a way of fooling people. My personal belief was no proper certified psychologist will do this. I found it below my level!

And as they say a little knowledge is dangerous, it made me naïve and think like a fool.Today, after gaining some knowledge in this field, I am at a very different stage . I started online counseling as a way of helping someone, who was just not in a situation to come out and look for a therapist. It started because there was no other alternative but became one of my biggest tool today. So, here I am with the reasons why I find online counseling an emerging way of helping those, who really need it but can’t get it in the traditional face to face way. Lets start with what in the first place counseling is ? Here is a power point to shed some light on the definition of counseling:

counseling

This was about counseling and why do we need it.

Now there could be two situations pertaining to this : you need something and you go ahead and fulfill it but many times, due to various reasons there are issues which hinders you achieving your need. Same goes for counseling, lets talk about the different issues which can make the conventional face to face counseling difficult for a person :

Lack of resources : In our country finding a trained qualified therapist is a tough job. You recognise the need for counseling and try to find a therapist but it becomes difficult and gradually you leave hope. The extra stress of looking for a counselor,who really can help  is something which only adds to your misery.

The taboo of visiting a shrink : ” Oh my God, is everything alright?”, ” Do you want to share with me about it”, “Are you crazy?” are some general reactions and apart from these questions there are also the judgmental looks to go through. You really need to be superhuman to not to be bothered by them.

Busy schedule: sometime you just are so occupied that finding time becomes an issue. You want to see a therapist but when?

No travelling time & stress: India has many great things to boast of but traffic is not one of them and if you’re in one of the big cities, God bless you!

Being in your comfort zone:  If you’re troubled, going to an alien place feels traumatic. Just the security of being in your house give you the courage of starting the process. I have known so many people who have made the phone call but when the time came to visit the therapist, they just were not able to do so.

These are my general reasons of trying to prove that online counseling can be a good way for people who needs counseling but unable to reach out to a therapist’s center but now the million dollar question is ” What is online counseling and how is it carried out?”

It is actually very simple and straightforward.Online counseling is the provision of professional counseling services concerns via the Internet. Services are typically offered via email,real-time chat, and video conferencing.

So, the different medium of video conferencing could be:

            

A very good way which has emerged for group therapy & self-help groups is Google+ hangouts.

This was a glimpse of online therapy and what it has to offer. I am sure it must be a great feeling to know that YOU HAVE OPTIONS! 

If this article has left you with questions brewing in your mind…Go ahead and ask, it is not going to hurt anyone 🙂

Tag Cloud