Monday, May 31, 2010

Mental Health of Counselors

Counselors are the people help people to help themselves. They serve people for attaining better wellbeing. In the process, the counselors have to keep their wellbeing better.

Counselors are human beings too!
The emotional problems of the counselors which could not be solved for very long periods in many attempts can be one of the hindering factors for not being in the state of positive wellbeing. In the words of Freud, it can be ‘Unresolved Conflicts’. Sometimes it is possible that one speaks about anger management, stress management, positive thinking & etc in counseling and training programmes but is not able to follow in the realistic life. It is natural for everyone that whatever is spoken cannot be practiced completely. Psychologists are also a part of that everyone.

The unresolved conflicts can be due to personal problems of the counselor otherwise, the following reason too. Counselors keep hearing negative things from the clients who leave all the dusts in the room and counselors are sometimes happened to inhale those dusts. Take the example of Policemen; they tend to behave harshly as they are kept with the criminals. I hope it is proven by researches too. However, a counselor can handle negative downloads from clients as a matter of information to proceed with therapeutic strategies. A counselor’s office can have an ambience that is calm, comfortable to bear the negative download. Sometimes it is not possible for counselors by being over empathetic. I heard one of the pioneer counselors in Chennai telling in a counselors meeting “Coming beyond the negativities that are got from Clients and keep oneself positive is the first quality of a good counselor.”

Coming beyond Negativities, Preventing Burn-out & Positive Wellbeing
Counselors need to spend time for the self and can think twice to keep counseling schedules affecting the physical and mental health. Doing something in non-counseling areas and spending time to keep oneself positive are the other techniques to prevent burn-out and maintain positive wellbeing.
The other solution can be ‘Having a counselor to counsel’ when a counselor finds that it is not possible to solve the unresolved conflicts by him/herself. It’s a well established factor that counseling is not so effective to friends and relatives of the counselor, so how it is possible to counsel oneself and solve?! Therefore it is better for Counselors to keep the ego at the back and get counseling from another experienced counselor.
An SMS received in my mobile says the following, “The Surprising thing about mankind is-We lose our (mental) health to make money and then lose our money to restore our (mental) health”

A culturally strong Technique to maintain Positive Wellbeing
When we look at the generations prior to us, it can be found that they had maintained positive wellbeing with out the help of Counselors. They had used some techniques in the name of Religion, Spirituality and Culture. One of those techniques is Meditation. Therefore meditation is the next suggestion that I’m going to explain in order to maintain positive wellbeing.

Meditation does not come under Psychological Techniques since it is not scientifically proven by researches. Psychology has been receiving concepts from the west. All the concepts given by (Western) Psychology cannot fully be adapted to our country. The techniques given by Western Psychology may be less efficient for the Indian Community.

Meditation has been followed by the Indian Community for many centuries to keep oneself positive. It is a culturally strong technique and so steps have to be taken to include it in the current knowledge of Psychology.

5 Easy Steps to follow
An easy method of meditation comprises the following steps,
  1. Sit straight as the hip, back and head are at a straight line.
  2. Clench the hands together.
  3. Close the eyes.
  4. Breathe in and breathe out as usual slowly, don’t force and keep monitoring the breath. (Please note that the stomach part should be bulgy while breathing-in and it has to come to normal state while breathing-out)
  5. Count ‘one’ for the breath. Keep counting up to 30 following the 4th step.
By doing these steps for daily at least twice a day, with the help of a stop-watch it can be found the time of a breath gradually increases. If it takes one minute to complete 30 breaths, then a breath is for 2 seconds. By keep practicing, after one month it may go up to the level of 5 seconds for a breath. The continuous practice on daily basis can keep increasing the time of breath. Practicing in a calm place with good air circulation is better. If possible, breathe in and breathe out for 60 times.
This may seem to be a breathing exercise. Of course, it is a breathing exercise in a way. Counselors suggest clients to take a deep breath when they go out of control, but the clients are conditioned not to remember it when they become aggressive. Here the conditioning would take place practicing it daily at regular timings. The 5 minutes can make one to be under control for the whole day after a continuous practice.

Is it effective?!
It is a meditation by the aspect of monitoring the breath. While comparing with the relaxation techniques, it is easier in the dimension of Instructions. There are many more methods available on meditation, but this method can serve as a good starting point for the people who practice meditation for the first time.
The effectiveness of this method can be theoretically explained. A long breath provides great amount of oxygen to the brain and other body organs. Breath is a continuous thing happening in our body which is seldom monitored. Thus monitoring breath makes individuals to monitor even the things that are unnoticed for a very long period such as the self.

Counselors can practice this to improve and maintain positive wellbeing and recommend for the clients too, because it’s not going to harm by side-effects. It is going to be good to sit in a calm place to relax in the name of meditation. Moreover it takes only few minutes to practice. In the process of maintaining positive wellbeing, meditation can help the counselors to keep introspecting themselves to stay mentally healthy. Anyone who practices meditation regularly can convey the changes which have been taking place in the self after starting to practice meditation.
In the fast-paced life, counselors may not be able to practice meditation if it is going to be time-consuming. That’s why, the method of meditation which takes very minimum time is suggested here. If one is ready to dedicate time, can learn some more effective methods of meditation after practicing this method at least for one month regularly.

To conclude
To maintain a better wellbeing, to bear the negative downloads and to solve the unresolved conflicts, counselors can follow the techniques ‘maintaining a balanced life’, ’doing something in non-counseling areas’, ‘having a counselor’ and ‘practicing meditation’. Following these suggestions would enable counselors to be effective in the profession and personal life.
I think the given suggestions are easy to follow. Is it true that only if something so complex to follow, it’s very great and worthy? Not necessarily, right?! Let’s give a try and find it!!

1 comment:

Freida said...

This blog provides its highly more interesting info about psychology. thanks for the update.

mental wellness