Family counselling charity – a possibility?
30 May, 2012
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Shortly after working as a volunteer counsellor at a youth charity I felt that many of the issues being brought to us were not simply concerned with the individuals themselves. Rather, they were part of a family that was having an issue. Parents would bring a young person and basically say “Fix him/her for me“. As a Person-Centred counsellor the idea of “fixing” anyone does not feel right. Seeing more and more young people this feeling for me grows ever stronger that what is needed is family counselling or at least parent and child counselling openly available. Not just individual counselling for young people. The idea being not to “fix” a family, but to help them relate to each other is a way that they all feel valued and respected, so each member of a family is able to grow and develop as they might wish, not being compelled to fit in to a certain family mould. I suppose this is still “fixing” in a way. Though, hopefully not the idea of fixing in or toward a particular way of being.
There are several youth counselling charities in the area where I live. Yet, there are no family counselling charites. At least I have not come across any. There is Relate, though they are more geared towards couples. Youth charities cater for 12 to 24 years olds. Over 24 and you seem left to yourself, to pay out for a private counsellor or to stumble on through life. You may get refered by your GP to an NHS therapist, who more than likely is a CBT practitioner. Good for short-term issues, though that is seriously disputed by some, eh, John Threadgold ;), yet perhaps lacking in getting into any real depth and resolving of long-term issues. I’ve not quite decided, but I lean towards John’s point of view. See John’s comments on a recent “Counselling and Psychotherapy Networking“ Facebook group, post by Jenny Lynn.
My solution? Begin that which has been with me off and on for the past 2 years, and today is getting stronger than ever. Start a family counselling charity in my local area. How do I do this? At present, no idea, but why should that stop me. I do presume though this will take several years of ground work and preparation. Maybe it’s beyond me. With the help of others though I’m sure it can be realised. Again, as yet, no idea who those others may be.
Why a charity? Whilst I appreciate and am content that counsellors need to earn a living and in one way that may become a reality for myself, yet there is an uncomfortable feeling about charging individuals or families for counselling. Maybe it’s a bridge I need to cross? It is something that I feel society should provide. Some will disagree with that. Perhaps this view comes from my lack of sympathy with Capitalism. Not sure I would consider myself a Socialist either, though certainly I have feelings that a service that will help an individual grow and develop should not be chargeable, or at least should be charged within the reach of all. I feel counselling should be available to all regardless of age or circumstances. If the government won’t provide a realistic counselling service, this may be a way to compensate for that lack.
Any ideas welcome 🙂