What is Counselling?
Counselling or “talk therapy” was first discovered as a treatment by the medical profession by pioneers such as Freud in the early 1900′s. Talking about life’s problems was seen to be a treatment that could be delivered by medical doctors. As the years went by counselling became a more scientific process as researchers analysed the content of counselling and the process or way it was delivered.
Counselling developed into a major area of scientific investigation and mental illnesses were discovered and defined. To this day most mental health issues have a strong biological or genetic heritability, but science is still searching for the actual genetic errors. We still don’t know the precise cause of mental health symptoms, or the reasons some genetic vulnerabilities cause symptoms during childhood (i.e. ADHD), adults (i.e. Bipolar), seniors (i.e. dementia).
Counselling in it’s modern forms such as IPT and CBT as well known to be equally effective as medications for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Most forms of depression or anxiety respond well to counselling, especially for individuals that can recall significant periods when there were no symptoms.
These days we have hundreds of counselling and therapies to offer clients, and most therapists are skilled in several types of therapies. Just like medical doctors, the modern psychotherapist can mix therapies to provide counselling that is designed for the individual. This type of counselling can be called eclectic, which involves using several types of counselling together, or integrated, which involves a therapist creating a new type of therapy by deliberately combining several therapies to create something new or different.
Author: Vivian Jarrett, B Psych (hons), MAPS, MAICD.
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