I am often bamboozled by the seemingly extensive approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. Even the word psychotherapy conjures up images of a strange sort of something scary that’s going to happen to me if I go near it. Is there some type of pressure on those people in this profession to somehow perform using big words that no-one understands? In fact I have just googled the word psycho and the first thing that’s listed is Psycho is a 1960 American suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. For me, even the word therapy indicates that something is wrong with me… and to some degree this is the case, as if I am seeking help to assist me in feeling better, then clearly there is something wrong. The word counselling is perhaps a little easier to understand as to counsel me indicates someone sitting with me having some type of shared conversation. I can cope with this image.
I remember years ago hearing someone say, just because someone has a degree doesn’t automatically mean they will happy and successful. I found this a difficult concept to understand at the time as I was always in awe of those who were educated. Even during the early part of my counselling training there was a little voice in my head saying that everyone else was brighter than me therefore they were better at counselling than I was. It wasn’t until later on that I began to accept that knowledge of approaches, methods and philosophies were useless unless I could actually connect with someone in a way that was meaningful and of value.
Does that mean that I am now inventing my own approach called the keep it simple method? There is a word I like which is humanistic as it infers in its title that we are all human, which before we became anything else (a parent, a job title, a student, miserable, depressed, etc) we were and still are, simply human. We are individuals who are part of a larger society and maybe somewhere along the way we have got lost and have become confused or unhappy, or mixed up and stressed. I believe my job is to help you find your way again, back to your true authentic self. Of course I am qualified, but first, I am human…
What are your images of counselling and psychotherapy? Please share with me, I’d love to know.