Need to understand difference between counseling and clinical psychology
PSYCOLOGY BY FIRDOUS VAR
Counseling, a word or profession, is very common to masses. This may be because everyone in the valley knows what a counselor is. I once came across a job vacancy ad, it was like this,
Who is fluent in English and know computers,
Is there any difference between receptionist and counselor? What degrees a counselor should have? Are we doing counseling or spending time with the clients only? Is psychology or clinical psychology all about counseling? NO! There are many things clinical psychology is all about. A clinical psychologist is certified to do not only counseling and psychotherapy but also take active part in diagnosing, psychological testing, teaching and research as well. Counseling and psychotherapy again is not the same. Simply, counselin is brief and when the problem is at superficial level than psychotherapy. In both we use different strategies to handle the problem. But whom can we call a clinical psychologist? A clinical psychologist is one who sees clients himself. Then what about psychologist? A psychologist is someone who has done his/her masters or doctorate in psychology. Psychologist also can see clients but he or she needs to have internship or clinical practice under supervision. Psychology has different branches but that does not means a clinical psychologist or psychologist is all one. We even are not clear about the difference in psychiatrist and other doctors because we are less concerned about the specializations. A Psychiatrist is someone who has a medical degree with specialization in psychiatry and can prescribe drugs.
For anything let it be counseling or prescribing drugs, one needs to understand the underlying dynamics. For example, if I give you a latest phone which you donít know how to operate. What will happen to that phone? It may malfunction or you may lose interest in it. Same is true about psychology. If you donít know about human development or dynamics, how will you understand what is going with the client. If you donít know what is happening with the client, how you are going to treat them? You may be very concerned with your phone when your child starts fiddling with it but when a human being is mishandled by some unprofessional counsellors, we hardly bother.
How do people get better even with simple suggestions from friends or relatives? This is what we call informal counseling. This also works in a limited way. There you donít know what next? Making your client go back deep into his painful experiences is very easy a task but to bring him back successfully requires a professional. So itís better not to scratch the wounds if you donít know how to make dressing for cure.
Letís have a look at the mental health in Kashmir. Do we have any research to say that mental health of Kashmir is at risk. How many researches from Kashmir get published in journals from our reputed institutes? Research in the valley is like grape vine communication especially when it comes to mental health? Mostly people are quoting from books and articles which are published in West. We got to have our own research done in the subject for its better understanding. Letís live, and let live, peacefully.
(Firdous Var is Consultant Clinical Psychologist. Feedback at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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