Counseling has historically been more of a solitary field, and though therapists will collaborate with other professionals and refer clients for medication to a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner, it hasn't been until more recent years that therapy has become a more multi-disciplinary approach.
Today, like Tamara discussed on Tuesday, therapists might also work on whole body or mind/body/spirit approaches like meditation and mind-body awareness and healing. A therapist might refer a client to a meditation or yoga class, or might encourage a client to find a men/women's group to work on spirituality and faith. To take this one step further, therapists also are more likely now to work with the client's other practitioners to gain a different perspective of how they might help the client get better.
Another example is the more recent changes to attorney's focusing on collaborative divorce proceedings. This approach includes having many different discipline's who all work together to help the family system through the divorce proceedings, to make it more amicable and healthy for everyone included. It is very different from the conflict heavy approach of years past with divorce proceedings (for more information, go to www.CollaberativeDivorce.net ).
Therapist's are more likely to use an approach that gets a client's permission to coordinate care with other disciplines, such as a client's medical doctor or specialist, working with Department of Child and Family Services to make treatment recommendations for helping families become healthier in their communication and coping skills, or referring clients for extra services like EMDR for trauma, or outside support groups to supplement therapy. All of these things are to supplement a client's mental health treatment and to use a systemic approach to helping a client get healthier. It reminds me of the old saying that "it takes a village to raise a child". The more recent approach to counseling and therapy is like a "village approach", where more disciplines work together to help a client succeed in their treatment.
What ways do you see counseling evolving? We'd love to know!
Joleen Watson, MS, LMFTA, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling,couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.