30 July 2010
The current research aims to identify the practical difficulties in applying the Western therapeutic counselling models in India and warrants the postulation of a culture-specific model.
India has a long history of philosophy, education and healing systems that have been focused on the holistic wellbeing of people. However, counselling per se has not been practised in the Indian subcontinent as a well-defined therapeutic modality. Even contemporary Indians tend to attribute various mental health issues to evil spirits, evil eye or supernatural powers and prefer to go for magico-religious remedies and delusive healings.
In the recent years, the industrial and educational globalisations have demanded the introduction of counselling and guidance services in India in a big way. Nevertheless, as acknowledged in many parts of the world, the therapeutic counselling has not received popularity in India, with the exception of a few urban centres. Whilst therapeutic counselling is slowly gaining grounds, reputation and credence, there arises a need for indigenous therapy models for efficient intervention and effective therapy outcome. In spite of the fact that some Indian therapists integrate yoga and meditation practices into counselling and psychotherapy process, there are no indigenous counselling models defining precisely the therapy setting, distinctive counselling stages, culture-specific theoretical bases and exclusive mode of practice which would influence the process and outcome of therapy to satisfy the Indian psyche.
This study has been conducted in three stages for developing an indigenous counselling model.
In the first stage, the autoethnography qualitative research method has been employed to evaluate the counselling process of the researcher using the ‘the process and outcome evaluation reports’ of 480 selected clients spread over a period of seven years.
In the second stage, a study of the syllabi of counselling courses offered at various institutes and universities together with a survey of practicing counsellors in India has been done intensively for further identification of current inadequacies and cultural appropriateness of therapy in vogue.
In the final stage, based on the data culled out from the previous two stages, an indigenous transpersonal counselling model has been drafted.