Think you might need some sort of therapy? Here are some personal thoughts on the subject.
I was a Careers Adviser in Grimsby, then Humberside (mainly) for 24 years. My training was done in 1981 at the then Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham (now Nottingham Trent University). My main tutors were the “fab four”: John Malkin, Dave Howe (or Howes), Trevor Perrett (or Perritt) (my personal tutor) and Richard Broadley. They taught me the “Trent Model” of careers interviewing, which was essentially a “counselling” approach. I liked that this was a “Helping Interview” model which looked very useful.
We were the last students to be taught the “Seven Point Plan”: a checklist for compiling useful information from our “clients” or interviewees. Once we mastered the 7 Point Plan we then went onto the “Trent Model” proper. In other words we were trained to ask young people nice questions so that they could “tell us all about themselves”. Then we were taught to “diagnose” what these young people were telling us.
Did our client think he or she could be a rocket scientist without doing science? Did he or she think he or she was good at science when in fact he or she was garbage at it but good at the arts and music? Was the client aiming to be a banker because “Dad” wanted this? Did the client need help with decision-making because his or her “plan” was flawed? Or was the client like me at that age: aiming to be a teacher yet unable to say “boo to a goose”?
Some of my fellow students bragged loudly about using the “Trent Challenge”: “Why do you think you are suitable to be a vehicle technician?” “Do you think this is the right career path for you? In what way?”
The good news was that we did help young people with their career decisions and planning. The bad news was that sometimes all we did was cause a family row.
The good news was we helped people. The bad news was we treated people like medical patients: diagnosing some “illness” then seeking to “cure” whatever was “wrong”.
Yes I have mixed feelings about having been a “therapist”. We often said that we were there to “empower” people, but were we just meddling?
The same could be said of any therapy of course. Is there a point where the client becomes a “victim” of the therapist, or at best “dependent” on therapy?
The other day I read some stuff on sites similar to “Alcoholics Anonymous” in the UK. According to them I’m an Alcoholic, along with about 80% of the world’s population. Of course we are: Alcohol is addictive and can make people think about drinking. So best see a therapist and let him or her meet some target for diagnosing and treating an Alcoholic. That will draw funds into the “service” and keep everyone happy.
Same with mental health counselling: get someone who is “troubled”, come up with a psychological diagnosis and treatment, and bingo. Sorry if I sound cynical. But at its worst that’s what “therapy” can be. Thankfully there are many good therapists about who really do empower people.
All I can say is do take care with your choice of therapist. And do first of all consider carefully whether you need therapy at all. Nuff Said.