Psychosocial Counseling / Sameila Shrestha
The word 'Counseling' comes from the Latin word 'consilium', meaning advice. However, counseling should not be confused for just providing guidance, influencing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors by persuading, selection, and assignment of individuals to jobs. Counseling is a collaborative process where, generally two parties, counselor and the client in a specific setting, attempts to resolve and facilitates the psychological, emotional, behavioral, and other personal challenges for a better and progressive life. The history of counseling starts in the 19th century. The focused areas that time were child welfare, education, employment guidance, legal reform.
In the present time, counseling addresses problems relating to the school and career/work, social and personal adjustments, stress management, dealing with and adjusting to physical disabilities, disease or injury, other mental disorders, and crisis. Counseling can be defined as 'talk therapy.' However, talk therapy surely wouldn't be its only justification. Counseling combined with several psychotherapies like gestalt, cognitive-behavioral, psycho-analysis, etc. helps the clients professionally. It empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.
The counseling relationship is based on three vital ethics- Unconditional Positive Regard, Genuineness, and Empathy. Both parties share the time and settings for establishing professional linkage for resolving and coming to mutual outcomes. A counselor ought to respect people's rights and dignity, avoid harming the client, commit to promoting client's well-being, respect client's right to be self-governing (autonomy), be loyal, sensitive, be free from all kinds of personal biases and judgements, and keep boundaries of working beyond norms.
The unshakable orthodox ideas about mental health make counseling a challenging task around the world, and Nepal is not an exception. Various factors, such as- failure of raising psychology education, social stigma, unavailability of psychotropic drugs, governance, lack of awareness, financial burden, judgments passing, tagging, and so on, keep people away from seeking professional help.
The fear of being judged and getting derogations like 'baula', 'pagal', 'psycho' makes people escape from the problems. As a consequence, people suffer from severe mental disorders, and some ultimately result in suicide. Every year nearly 800,000 people attempt and succeed in committing suicide, which is an alarming situation for the mental health of the globe.
(Sameila Shrestha, the author of this article is a psychology graduate. She is currently serving Nepal Hypnosis as an intern.)