It just doesnt make sense!!

So I will take a slight detour from my usual generic posts and focus on counselling inparticular. My rant is about the difficulty and frustration faced with trying to get. Counselling job. I certainly am in this position but my difficulty is echoed by thousands every year.

The most frustrating thing is that the struggle does not make any sense. As counselling student we pay thousands (personally approx. £6000 to date) to train, put hundreds of hours of work, personal development, research, reading etc and for what? To work as a voulenteer.

Now I do not want to knock the voluntary sectors nor do I disagree with businesses making the most of free employment but the difficulty is with the lack of paid work for a service which is in high demand and of such use.

I personally feel there are very few people who would not benefit from counselling. People have so many damaging ways of
being or harming processes (to selves and others) that counselling would give a space for people to explore and grow in such a beneficial way. Most free services have huge waiting lists and cannot get enough free cousellors to help lessen the load so the demand for the profession is not debateable. The problem then must be with the resources to provide paid employment. This can only be due to people not seeing the true benefits of therapy.

CBT is by far the most widely backed form of counselling. Quite simply because it can easily provide statistics for government people who don’t have time to check things thoroughly enough which say jim had a fear of X now he doesn’t – CBT works! It isn’t that simple though, the true questions and processes are missed out. Why is this fear present, what happens when circumstances change or the underlying issues grow through the soil used to cover them and the weeds begin to show again. This is why we need more indepth, relationship based therapies such as person centered counselling. I truly believe in this method because it is human, it is genuine, it looks at the issues, it doesn’t pave over the cracks, instead it fixes them with the client in control.

I wouldn’t like to get lost in a discussion of the most successful therapies, but to stay focused on the frustration of lack of funding for such a valuable and life changing service. Unfortunately, when the funding is put up by the government, it is put into what I believe to be the wrong places.

So where do we go from here? Do we need to change our approach a therapists? Do we need to put more into research and provide a concrete case for funding?

I am personally toying with the idea of starting private practice myself and I think that the issues which often can let people down is avoiding that counselling is actually a business. I need to see my practice as a product which needs to be bought. I need 15 clients a week for this business to survive so how do I get my targets. I think the difficulty with this approach is that it is so far removed from humane and caring approach in the counselling room. Is it possible to be a business man outside the counselling room and a caring therapist inside?

I think the answer is yes and even more so a necessity. Not all business has to be cut throat and heirarchical. I think business can be done in a humane way also and that it is about setting goals, planning action and approaches and making sure you stick to them.

Unfortunately this doesn’t answer the need for more work to be created outside of private practice. I suppose all we can do as therapists is to try and help in research and pushing our case to the people who make funding decision. However, it is also important to stay true to what we belive in provide the best service we can to our clients because once one client passes on their life changing story the seeds begin to grow an people learn of it’s importance and pass on their experience and so-on.

The more we do to provide the best service possible to our clients, the more we do to provide an invaluable service to everyone else aswell.


~ by justprose on December 16, 2009.

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