According to Pepinsky and Pepinsky, (1954) counselling is a process involving an interaction between a counsellor and a client in a private setting, with the purpose of helping change his behaviour so that he may obtain a satisfactory resolution of needs.
APA defines psychotherapy as any psychological service provided by a trained professional that primarily uses forms of communication and interaction to assess, diagnose, and treat dysfunctional emotional reactions, ways of thinking, and behaviour patterns.
One of the most integral parts of mental health and wellbeing is therapy and counselling. We all have a basic notion about these two terms in our minds but let’s talk about it from a technical point of view. Psychotherapy and counselling are used as interchanging. In reality, they have some distinct differences. The main difference is that psychotherapy is more formal. It deals mainly with serious or chronic issues. Whereas counselling is less formal than therapy. It deals with various kinds of day-to-day issues.
Myths and Facts regarding Therapy
Even with the vast improvement and widespread popularity of the Psychology field, mental health and mental disorders are still considered to be hush-hush topics. A lot of misconceptions and myths are still existing in peoples’ minds.
Myth 1: I need to have a heavy disorder to go to therapy
Fact: It is not necessary to go to therapy for serious issues only. Therapy and counselling exist to help people. One can go for therapy to have a routine mental health check-up
Myth 2: Treating friends, partners, and relatives as therapists.
Fact: Sharing the emotional burden with our close ones is a very healthy thing to do. But people often mistake it for therapeutic means.
Myth 3: If I go once my issues will get solved
Fact: Therapy takes time. It is a process and to get the desired outcome people need to trust the process and accept it.
Myth 4: Therapists with solving my issues
Fact: Therapists will never give any advice to their clients’ issues. They will help them find the right path and move forward.
Myth 5: Therapy is only talking
Fact: Therapy involves talking but it is not only talking. It is a treatment plan and a process of determining the right approach to help the client.
Myth 6: Therapy means I am weak
Fact: Therapy is an approach to leading a healthy life. Therapy is a treatment process and it is similar to the physical treatment process. No one is considered weak if they go for therapy.
Myth 7: How can I trust a stranger with my secrets?
Fact: There are laws and ethics in therapy that every therapist and counsellor needs to follow. Breaching these boundaries can lead to legal punishments. Protecting your privacy and confidentiality is a part of these ethics.
Myth 8: Therapy involves medications
Fact: Therapy does not include medications. A therapist does not prescribe medications. They offer different types of treatment processes through which they help their clients with their issues.
Myth 9: Therapy is forced
Fact: Therapy is completely consensual. Every individual that decides to go for therapy agrees and gives their consent to the therapist.
Myth 10: Therapy is linear
Fact: Therapy is not a linear process. It includes setbacks as well along with recoveries.
Qualifications of Psychologists or Therapists
The basic qualifications for a therapist are a bachelor’s and Masters’ degree in Psychology and Applied Psychology. Also, M. Phil and Ph. D degree also helps an individual into the field of therapy. But these basic qualifications are a must to become a therapist.
Importance of Therapy
Mental health is as important as physical health. But the level of importance we give to mental health is not the same or equal. Most of the hospitals have a very new working mental health department. India as a country still has not been very open and accepted of mental health concepts. The awareness regarding mental health is still at a very early stage. We need more people believing in therapy for a better functioning life.
- Therapy works as an alternative for an unhealthy coping mechanism.
- Therapy makes people realize and understand more about themselves. It leads them into making healthy life choices.
- Therapy is a time-consuming process and it does not guarantee a full recovery at the end of it. But therapy helps an individual to understand their issues and their triggers. So that they become able to maintain their life well.
- Therapy is very helpful in managing relationships. It helps in setting boundaries and understanding our limits.
- Life is not only about survival. We need to enjoy it. Therapy helps us to find that happiness.