Psychology and Mental Health

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* Counseling- Definition
* Factors contributing to the emergence of counseling
* Important period in the development of counseling
* Conclusion


According to Willy and Andrew:
Counseling is mental learning process. It involves two individuals- one seeking help and other a professionally trained person helping the first to orient and direct him towards a goal which leads to his maximum development and growth in his environment.

“The goal of counseling is to help individuals overcome many of their future problems”

Though the need for attention to the whole individual had been recognized by educators since the time of Socrates, it was only during the 20th century. Those researchers actually began to study and accumulate information about guidance.


* Technological changes
Technological changes have made a major impact upon people’s lives and work. Industrialization has resulted in social and vocational mobility. It has affected child rearing practices also. One of the important ways in which man tried to cope with the rapidly changing world around him was to start the guidance movement. The guidance movement later led to the growth of counseling psychology in the first decade of the twentieth century, based on man’s concern for his fellow men and their well being. Counseling must have existed in one form or another since the very beginning of human civilization. Man must have sought comfort, help and solace from family and close associates. However, it is only in the recent past that counseling emerged as a distinct branch of psychology. Modern counseling is a product of the educational system-more especially of the American education system. It deep roots in the concern for an individual’s by inertia and acts only when he must on stimulation. This view has many far reaching implications that led to an essentially deterministic position. The standpoint that man is an active agent also has very important implications provided for freedom, choice and self-determination. * Moral and philosophical issues

In a traditional and conventional society children are expected to follow the course or way of life traditionally pursued by their forefathers. With the development of society, with enlightenment, scientific innovation, industrialization and urbanization, some, if not most, of the traditional conventions and values have come to be seriously challenged.

* Economic changes and challenges
Early man was food gathered. As he became civilized, he also became a food producer. Today we find that the occupations an individual can choose. Industrialization and automation have led to increased productivity. These often confuse young men and women to enter the job market. Under such circumstances we cannot expect them to make appropriate choices without assistance.

* Educational aspects
Man is the only living creature who finds his own existence a problem which he has to solve and from which he cannot escape. Towards the end of the 17th century, psychologist stated evincing interest in the individual difference among people. During 18th and early 19th centuries the study of individual differences received great impetus. In the early years, this study was concerned with psychophysical functions like sensory activity, motor speed and reaction time. But the most significant development in the mental measurement took place in France in the first decade of the 20th century.

* Mental measurement
The terms ‘adjustment’ and ‘adaptation’ pervade our thinking about mental health. The concept of mental health is that of well rounded personality.

* The mental hygiene movement
Jahoda (1958) argues that the criterion for normality both in terms of statistics and in the way people behave is of little or no use in explaining mental health....
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