important is mental health? What is the role of the family doctor
in the area of mental health?
is obsessed with, and doing so much for increasing the longevity
of mankind, but have we ever thought of the quality of life
we lead? Physical well being and health is given the highest
priority with newer drugs flooding the market everyday. Has
anyone ever thought as much about emotional well being and
mental health? The World Health Organization has declared
that the emotional health of humanity is declining. Cases
of depression, stress and nervous anxiety and psychosomatic
disorders are on the rise and therefore family doctors are
urged to look for signs in a patient which
would indicate the need for counselling. In a society where
going to the gym for physical fitness training and workouts
is considered as the 'in' thing to do, it is sad to see that
mental and emotional fitness and training is not accorded
the same status. There is an invisible stigma attached to
counselling, wherein general practitioners hesitate to refer
cases for personal counselling fearing that the counsellees
may take offense. Denial of the need for therapy only compounds
the problem, for if there is anything worse than having a
problem, it is denying that you have one. Timely intervention
of counselling can avert many a disaster. For this, the support
of general practitioners, social workers, other members of
the helping profession and above all, the media, is extremely
important. They are the ones who need to create awareness
of the entity of counselling, the need for it and help in
removing the stigma attached to it.
There is an urgent need for establishing meaningful human
interaction between people. The fast-paced highly competitive
urban world, the break up of the joint family system, more
women working outside the house, single child norm etc. means
that a 'friend in need' is even more required today. If we
can increase the number of such 'friends' who DARE TO CARE,
the rate of disturbed individuals becoming chronically ill
and disabled will most definitely reduce. It needs to be mentioned
that such caring not only benefits the receiver of care, but
also benefits the care giver who gets in touch with his own
human side, thus exerting him to be the best human being that
he can be.
is Counselling? How do counsellors help? What is their role?
health is achieved when man is completely psychologically
mature or self-actualized, and psychological disturbances,
are nothing but a failure of such development.
A large number of disturbed people can be helped by establishing
a caring human interaction which makes the disturbed individual
open to explore and understand himself, and finally change
something within himself to solve his problem. This is called
There are several misconceptions about the nature and intention
of counselling and therapy. Many people believe that the purpose
of therapy is to talk about their problems, rather than devising
active means of solving these problems. It is not talk that
is important, but action.
At this point it would be apt to understand briefly what personal
counselling entails. For that, let us first understand what
it is not. It is not offering interpretation, evaluation,
support or advice; but it is in fact a human technology in
which the counsellor through human interaction creates certain
conditions in which the counsellee is provoked into a journey
of self-exploration leading to self-understanding leading
to action, so that the counsellee changes his/her thinking
and behaviour, thus solving the problem and bettering his/her
life. In short, it is not a 'handout' but instead a 'hand
up'. He is helped to help himself.
long-lasting and meaningful improvements in psychological
functioning call for at least two specific areas of intervention:
need to correct irrational thinking.
We need to overcome negative behaviors.
is achieved by re-education and a systematic re-training of
the mind by challenging long-standing self-defeating ideas,
beliefs and behaviours, and replacing it with rational, realistic
and appropriate beliefs and behaviours of life. The counsellee
is also motivated to identify and reduce his stress levels
on biological, psychological, sociological and spiritual levels
and to increase his adjustive resources on all these levels.
is the difference between Psychotherapy and Counselling?
and Psychotherapy are similar but vary in degree and intensity
and in the goals to be achieved. In psychotherapy the goal
is to bring about a deeper personality change which may take
months and even years, however in counselling the goal is
to achieve a better personal adjustment and growth in maturity
and therefore the duration is just a few sessions.
your approach / methodology at the 'Heart to Heart Counselling
Centre' differ in any way from the traditional approach used
by psychiatrists & clinical psychologists?
have done a great deal of research in exploring the Psychology
of Resistance i.e. the dynamics behind a resistance to heal
in the patient/counsellee and the study also suggests a methodology
that can be adopted by therapists/counsellors to overcome
this resistance. The methodology is a unique blend of the
Western psychotherapeutic techniques (Client-centered therapy,
Rational emotive behavior therapy, Cognitive therapy, Behaviour
Therapy etc.) and Eastern psychotherapeutic techniques ('Abhidhamma'
~ the Buddhist psychology, Meditation, traditional Vedantic
you expect better results with your approach?
therapists/counsellors equip themselves with the methodology
mentioned above and adopt appropriate attitudes in the counselling
process, there will be a higher success rate in the recovery
you use any medication during the process of psychotherapy /
We do not prescribe or dispense any medication at all during
psychotherapy / counselling. We only establish an interpersonal
relationship and stimulate the counsellee towards self-actualization.
is there an emphasis on 'Couple' therapy?
couple is the smallest unit of community living, and how the
couple functions as a unit sets the stage for the entire family.
Thus, the beginning of the family whether functional or dysfunctional,
starts with the couple. A family is known as dysfunctional
when the desired goals of closeness, self-expression and meaning
cannot be attained by the family members. When this happens,
symptomatic behaviour takes place.
Thus, we understand how important it is for a couple to have
a healthy and harmonious relationship with each other not
only for themselves, but also for their child.
Since the emotional health of the couple directly affects
the emotional health of the children and the family as a whole,
it is high time that parents start focussing on their relationship
as a couple and work towards strengthening it. The time and
effort put into creating harmony with each other will reap
rich dividends in the form of family health.
Happy couples create happy families, which in turn create
happy communities, happy nations and a happy world.
children require personal counselling? What is the need for
counselling at such a young age? What kind of problems do
you come across in children these days? What are the typical
parental responses to them?
of dysfunctional families do require counselling. However
the success of such counselling depends on family therapy
i.e. the involvement of parents and other members of the family.
The child of psychologically immature parents feels like an
emotional orphan, and when he cannot find emotional fulfillment
at home, he starts looking for it elsewhere. Juvenile delinquency
is the direct result of a dysfunctional family, and teenage
pregnancies, alcoholism, substance abuse, association with
terrorist outfits and anti-social groups is nothing but a
desperate and misguided attempt at creating a world, a family
Everyday young children and teenagers are brought by their
parents to counsellors for 'treating' "bad behaviour"
such as temper tantrums, rebellion, anti-social behaviour,
disinterest in academics etc., and the counsellors are faced
with the daunting task of gently but firmly confronting the
parents about the toxic emotional environment at home. It
is most of the time a Herculean task to get the defensive
parents into therapy as a family, and more so as a couple.
is the necessity of Pre-Marriage counselling and check-up?
Western countries, the divorce rate in our country is steadily
on the rise. On going into details, invariably the cause is
found to be either a physical incompatibility or emotional
incongruity between the partners. In 90% cases the trauma
of divorce can be avoided, if the couple undergoes a counselling
session and certain medical investigations just before getting
As family physicians, very often doctors are expected to give
guidance to those who are getting into matrimony. Parents
find it difficult to explain everything to their sons or daughters
about the new relationship they are entering into; either
out of hesitation or lack of knowledge. Unlike more developed
countries, sex education is still not widely advocated in
schools or colleges in our country. At such occasions family
doctors are invariably asked for help and are expected to
oblige the parent community by doing the necessary briefing.
In a busy practice, most of the doctors do not find adequate
time to devote to Pre-Marriage Counselling, and are very often
not too comfortable with counselling.
It is also very necessary to know about the physical well-being
of both the partners before they marry, particularly about
one's reproductive ability and diseases that could be transmitted
sexually. Our centre has this unique facility (Pre-Marriage
Counselling & Check-up), in which both the partners can
have all the concerned investigations done under one roof,
and also get a healthy & complete understanding of all
the aspects of the male-female relationship. We have a full-fledged
Radiology, Sonography & Automated Pathology Laboratory
set-up to meet every need in these cases.
In India, match making is still done on the basis of Horoscopes
and the religious & financial backgrounds of the two families.
It is high time that we start ascertaining the compatibility
of the couple on more practical & realistic grounds by
undergoing such medical check-ups & pre-marriage counselling.
Having done this, the youngsters will definitely be able to
tie the nuptial knot with more confidence & self-esteem
and start their new relationship on a more sound footing.
providing the facility for 'Counselling & Psychotherapy'
for individuals, couples & families, do you intend to extend
your knowledge/ experience in any other manner?
have already started conducting certificate courses in Personal
Counselling based on humanistic psychotherapy for those in
the helping profession e.g. psychiatrists, doctors, nurses,
psychologists, counsellors, social workers, teachers, trainers,
HRD personnel etc. through the 'Institute of Human Technology'.
This 5-week certificate course in personal counselling, aims
at meeting the need for continuing formation of professionals.
We teach the Robert Carkhuff model of Personal Counselling
in this course, which is an extension of Carl Rogers' Client-centred
is the Robert Carkhuff model? What is Client Centered Therapy?
R. Rogers, a great pioneer in the United States, conducted
a scientific research on the process of helping i.e. he tried
to pinpoint the ingredients of the helping relationship (counsellor-counsellee)
which, according to him, is the main factor in helping people
with problems. He offered a blueprint for counselling in his
book, Client-Centered Therapy. We owe much to Carl Rogers
for bringing to the attention of counsellors the need to focus
on the interpersonal relationship between counsellor and counsellee.
The American psychologist Robert Carkhuff, accepted all that
Rogers had to offer and developed it further. Carkhuff concluded
that the counsellor must function at a level higher than the
counsellee's level of functioning; otherwise the counsellee
will deteriorate. Later Robert Carkhuff presented a model
of counselling (through his book Helping and Human Relations)
which is both a recognition and an enriching extension of
Rogers' model. We conduct training programs based on his latest
and updated model.
is Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)?
Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), founded by Albert Ellis is
a "cognitive-behavioral" therapy. It was earlier
known as Rational Emotive Therapy (RET). It is based on the
concept that emotions and behaviors result from cognitive
processes; and that it is possible for human beings to modify
such processes to achieve different ways of feeling and behaving.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) maintains that our
emotional problems and counterproductive behavior are largely
the result of 'crooked' unhelpful thinking. The basic premise
of this approach to counselling and psychotherapy is that
it is not events that cause our problems, but the way we think
REBT believes that human disturbance is essentially ideologically
or philosophically based, and so it strives for a thorough
philosophic reorientation of a person's outlook to life. It
uses the didactic approach i.e. teaching and re-educating
the client in balanced and correct ways of thinking and behaving,
and thus helping him acquire rational, realistic and appropriate
beliefs of life.
Albert Ellis, founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
(REBT) reasoned that therapy would progress faster if the
focus was directly on the client's self-defeating ideas, verbalizations
and 'beliefs'. He observed that client's tended to get better
when they changed their ways of thinking about themselves,
their problems, and the world.
Albert Ellis calls our unhelpful thoughts "irrational
beliefs" and says that they are at the core of much emotional
disturbance. Rational beliefs on the other hand, are flexible,
helpful ways of thinking and enable us to be psychologically
healthy. In REBT the counsellor helps the client understand
the role of such irrational "beliefs" and self-defeating
value systems, in causing and maintaining problems in his
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) workshops help counsellors
to develop knowledge and skills in this very effective, efficient
and empowering method of personal change.
: We will be pleased to answer any other questions you may have.
Please feel free to contact us at the 'Heart To Heart Counselling
To Heart Counselling Centre
10 Jerbai Baug, Ambedkar Road,
Near Gloria Chuch, Byculla (East),
Bombay 400 027, India
Tel : 23778624 / 23755866
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
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