New Paradigm Psychology

Jun 20th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles, Psyche Books

by Claudia Vayda

Psychology as a profession is changing under our eyes. What once was considered quite an alternative and even controversial field has now become so mainstream it is even covered by Medicare. There are psychologists in every school and every corporation. The roles of psychologists are ever widening, and there are now many different types of psychologists all requiring different training. Counseling psychology, and therapy, is my interest and focus here, and it also is changing, with so many different counseling approaches, techniques and schools of thought. As psychology changes, we as psychologists and counselors need to start deciding what it is we want it to become, so we can direct the changes and not be dictated to by government, or insurance companies.

I see that we are entering a new era in psychology, so let us take the opportunity now to decide what that will look like. We need to be ready for this next challenge and start working now on what we want to see. I can see psychology, if we allow it, take a role in nurturing, developing and healing, trailblazing a new way and taking a place among the teachers and healers in the new world.

I see the aims of psychology to be for a psychologically healthy society; to promote and focus on health, rather than disease. To move towards an individual approach for clients or perhaps to simply understand that all are on their unique, but of course similarly human, journey. To move away from the paradigm of normal, of right and wrong ways to feel, of fixing those who don’t fit in; to be the forerunners in the development of self-empowerment, and human spiritual growth in humanity. To allow our understanding of humanness to be a resource for humanity as it grows, learns and develops.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people could, and did, see a psychologist or therapist preventatively, as is becoming more common in both traditional and complementary medicine? Imagine having clients who wished to come in to maintain and even further strengthen their mental/emotional health, their resilience, happiness, contentedness and self-worth; having clients who are looking for a positive outcome, a reaching higher towards their potential, rather than simply looking for the amelioration of symptoms. This would be such a wonderful way to work, with motivated and healthy people who wish to go just that bit further, to meet more of their potential. We know, as professionals, that there is always more work to be done—on ourselves, as well as with our clients. There is always further to go if a client wishes it. It seems, though, that as we medicalize psychology we run the risk of losing these ‘healthy’ clients, they simply see us as not for them, that they don’t have enough pathology to warrant coming to see us. We are now seeing an increased interest in areas such as coaching and mentoring, and perhaps this is why, so as to be able to offer ‘healthy’ people an opportunity for growth and development, where they do not feel they have to be mentally ill. It would be a pity for Psychologists to lose this group, though, as we have the skills and training to work strongly and effectively in helping people be the best they can be. I am concerned that as we continue the trend of medicalizing psychology we end up with a counseling field split into fragments. As we start to call what we do ‘psychological treatment’, rather than ‘therapy’ or even ‘counseling’, we start to lose a cherished part of our role. Treatment implies fixing something that is wrong, sick or diseased, and so it limits the kinds of clients we attract and so the kind of work we do. This means some of what we could be doing is lost, and so other models are created to meet the needs of those who wish to do more and be more, but are not ‘sick.’ Coaching would be an example of that. The idea of coaching in this context had to be created in order to encourage those ‘healthy’ people to access more of their own potential.

I am not suggesting that psychologists do not work with the mentally ill, I understand that for many of us this is a critical and important part of our work, and rightly so. I am simply suggesting that this should not be the limit of our work, and particularly not be seen as the only useful work there is to be done. In trying to help people be able to fit in to society we can forget to look at society and wonder how it can be changed and influenced for the better, and where our role could be in this change. There is so much opportunity for positive work to be done with ‘ordinary’ people, in their quest to become extraordinary, helping them overcome their own self-imposed conditions and limitations, and so to help facilitate a critical mass of people who are enlightened, compassionate, loving and joyful, to help lead the way into a hopeful golden age for humanity

Claudia Vayda is a Psychologist who has over 20 years’ experience in counselling and therapy. She is passionate about the importance of the development and maintenance of psychological clarity and self-awareness in the practitioner, and how this enhances practice and results with clients.


New Paradigm Psychology – Embracing the New – Putting the Heart into Counseling and Psychology Practice

Become an incredibly effective agent of therapeutic and transformational change for your clients, eliminate burnout, and help facilitate outstanding clinical results.

Paperback £10.99 || $16.95


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