It’s time for clinical professional counsellors, psychotherapists and hypnotherapists to stand up to be counted as professionals in our own right. I am a proud counsellor and hypnotherapist. I am proud of the tradition of counselling and its role in helping and healing. I have long been frustrated at the lack of recognition for our great profession. And worse now, is the trend toward mental health training and become something other than what we are.
Yes, the lack of Medicare rebate is an issue for us. But I see a deeper problem. How can we ask the medical system to give us legitimacy, when we haven’t given it to ourselves?
The time has come to better understand how to stand in the great gifts and uniqueness of our profession. Something that will be lost in trying to look like everyone else.
We are no longer a profession with a low level of education. Many have degrees, masters and PhDs, yet we remain excluded from the medical model (psychologists, doctors and psychiatrists) and unable to offer Medicare rebates. The medical model deals with mental health issues diagnosed by the diagnostic book DSM5 along with medication.
How long do we remain respectfully knocking at the door?
In a desperate attempt to gain credibility there has been a move by counselling associations ACA (Australian Counselling Association) and PACFA (Psychotherapists and Counselling Federation of Australia) to encourage members into mental health training.
I am concerned this is an attempt to transform counsellors and psychotherapists into ‘pseudo psychologists’ through adopting psychological terminology, methodology and diagnostics.
This is worrying.
In following this path, counsellors who adopt the medical model approach, put aside their valuable counselling and psychotherapy theory and practice. But no matter how much we mimic psychologists; we remain excluded from the Medicare rebate scheme. We become ‘mini psychologists’ with no real credibility and even worse, lose the valuable knowledge we have as alternative practitioners in the field.
Rather than mimic, let’s find a better way to be of service as professionals. It’s time for us to change our profile and position ourselves in offering services that are unique and of value to the public.
The medical model we are being urged towards consists of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) in conjunction with medication to control symptoms. It’s important to understand a bit of its history and question its legitimacy.
CBT dates back to the 1960s. It was hailed as revolutionary compared to earlier Freudian and psychodynamic approaches. Freudian therapy was expensive and popular with the wealthy. In comparison, CBT was lauded as the scientific evidence-based approach and as such, appropriate for the public.
However, recent critiques of psychology research shows it mostly takes place in a closed, prescribed and preordained manner, rather than the open enquiry of true scientific process.
CBT is often the only approach researched whatsoever. It’s surprising that other legitimate modalities are typically excluded. I don’t see an honest attempt to source current ‘best practice.’ And this occurs in an environment where the co-dependent cohorts of CBT and the pharmaceutical industry remain intact as the foundations of the medical model.
Many effective approaches – in alignment with current discoveries in neuroscience – are going unnoticed and un-researched. Why is this? Because they are not CBT?
While we in the counselling profession have been stuck in our dilemma of exclusion, the coaching and personal development industry have stepped in. People who don’t wish to be aligned with the medical model or viewed as ‘sick’ now consult with a coach rather than approach the now-stigmatized counselling profession. See The Big Taboo. Link https://www.linkedin.com/post/edit/big-taboo-yildiz-sethi
We do not have to accept being stuck in the same time-warp as the medical model.
We are free to move on if we change our mind-set. Exert our professionalism and our points of difference.
Let’s be creative and embrace innovation and high quality professional development to improve and fine-tune what we offer to our clients in being effective. There have been considerable advancements in psychotherapy philosophy and practice as a result of neuroscience and epigenetics research. Let’s come out from below the radar of the mental health model and bring these discoveries with us.
I took on the challenge of innovating in the fertile climate of evolving science and my own evidence, to become the most effective practitioner I could be. I’m imagining a world where every counsellor does this in their own way, and that we learn from one another too.
I was able to create two psychotherapy modalities, which fuse the best of the past and present in psychotherapy, neuroscience, epigenetics and trance work.
I present this in my latest book Rapid Core Healing Pathways to Growth and Emotional Healing. (2016) In this I present the new modality RCH (Rapid Core Healing) that includes Family Constellations and EMI (Emotional Mind Integration) in a unified wholistic approach.
It is rapid, locating core issues and providing naturally occurring healing pathways to recovery. It is a body-sensed based approach dealing with the mind, body and spirit in a revolutionary way that transformed the way I work as a therapist. I am able to offer short-term results for most in 3-5 sessions for a wide range of issues. This includes anxiety, depression, panic attacks, self-esteem, and inner conflict, relationships, sexual abuse and trauma related issues.
I have no problem telling potential clients if they ask, I am not a psychologist and don’t offer Medicare rebates. I swiftly follow this with my experience of the benefits of the approaches I offer, and there are many. In short I emphasize my point of difference. There is no point in attempting to compete with psychologists.
I am grateful I didn’t become a psychologist, as this would have constricted me in an outdated medical model. I celebrate my freedom to stay up-to-date with latest developments in the field and create more effective ways of working.
There is a place between the medical model and personal development that counselling and psychotherapy can legitimately occupy. We work effectively with depression, anxiety, lifestyle, wellbeing and relationship issues. If we gain the skills and knowledge to work most effectively with our clients and have the courage to develop the healthy pride required to take our place, we will create an alternate and exciting future for our profession.
Stop apologizing for not being a psychologist able to offer Medicare rebates. Do charge appropriately for your education, experience, knowledge and effectiveness in facilitating positive change.
I call on you to find your point of difference. Embrace it, glorify it, and enjoy the freedom it offers. Give yourself permission to stand tall, grow and expand your knowledge and have a thriving practice. Find what works and become really effective at what you offer. Find your niche and hone it.
I have a vision of the professions of counselling, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy taking their place between the medical model and personal development. We’d offer highly effective services to the public, free of stigma and full of hope, consisting of speedy effective pathways to recovery. These ideas are presented in my book Rapid Core Healing for Growth and Emotional Healing (2016).
Lets start a discussion on this subject.
Yildiz is a proud counsellor/psychotherapist: the founder of two psychotherapies, a clinical hypnotherapist, Family Constellations facilitator and educator/trainer and author of three books. Her latest book Rapid Core Healing Pathways to growth and emotional healing (2016). Yildiz lives and runs a private practice in Brisbane, Australia, travelling nationally and globally to train clinicians and run workshops for the general public.
Organizations involved in training or growth interested in courses or applications may contact her. Details