The Future of Counselling
Up to now we have looked at models of counselling that were developed in the 1950’s and 60’s and are still practiced today.
So do the theory’s of counselling developed 50 years ago fit the person of today?
Well the answer is yes and no, please bear with me while I explain.
I am going to use the word ‘Existential’ ..’Exist what?
It is an idea from philosophy that we struggle with the ridiculousness and ‘unfairness of life, for example the mother whose child dies, a man who never smoked getting lung cancer, someone who loves their partner very much only to find out they are having an affair, having a loved one die of a simple treatable illness because you live in a poor country not the so called ‘developed world’.
These are the difficulties along with the bigger philosophical questions of who am I?, why am I here? , is there a God?, that have burdened humans for as long as they have walked the earth, So yes counselling theories developed half a century ago are still relevant today.
And the ‘No’?
In the last 50 years two things have happen in the world of psychology, the first is a huge amount of research has concluded that psychological distress has a number of causes and factors that we are just coming to understand and that counsellors need to be aware of.
The other big idea is neuroscience, the art of looking at how the structure, wiring and chemical composition of the brain affect our mood, we have a better understanding of why people get depressed, suffer post traumatic stress or suffer from dementia.
Modern technology can let medics see the brain working (or not) in real time.
It is also acknowledged that some clients may need a mixture of counselling approaches this is called integrative counselling and is used by counsellors trained in more than one approach.
At the time of writing researchers in the United States are experimenting with the drug ecstasy on clients suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, the research indicates that when using the drug clients can get in touch with the feelings of traumatic experiences and work through them.