Counselling Model India
Janetius, S.T. (2011). Paper presented at the 2nd Asia Pacific Rim International Counselling Conference 6th to 8th July 2011, HK Shue Yan University, 10 Wai Tsui Crescent, Braemar Hill, North Point, Hong Kong
Abstract: India possesses a long history of various philosophical, educational and healing systems that had been focused on the holistic wellbeing of people. However, counselling per se has not existed in the Indian subcontinent as a well-defined therapeutic modality. Psychology in India is fully interwoven with the ancient philosophical and religious systems, and knowledge related to mental health and human behaviour are not clearly articulated and obviously adopted or updated in the contemporary living. Although India has a profound traditional knowledge base and many schools of healing, people tend to attribute mental health issues to evil spirits, evil eye and supernatural powers with an apparent preference for magico-religious remedies even today (Bhasin, 2007).
In the current Indian scenario, the demands of industrial globalisation and the globalised education consequently have initiated counselling and guidance services in various sectors. However, as acknowledged in many parts of the world, the therapeutic counselling that focuses on the comprehensive development of the person has not become popular, with the exception of few urban centres. In general, counselling is minimally used in mental health arena, narrowly identified and popularly associated with academic advising, career guidance and further in the industrial setting as performance counselling.
Whilst therapeutic counselling is slowly gaining popularity through urban centres, there arises a need for indigenous therapy models for efficient intervention and effective outcome. This is because of the fact that culture and worldview of people in the Indian sub-continent are different from what the Euro-American theories suggest. In spite of the fact that some Indian therapists integrate yoga and meditation practices into counselling and psychotherapy process (Clay, 2002), there are no culture-specific theories that could define human behaviour, some exclusive counselling practices with specific settings and stages that could affect the therapy process and outcome for Indian clients.
The author uses self as the subject, to identify the dilemmas in applying Western models of counselling in the Indian context by evaluating the counselling process for over seven years, utilizing autoethnography qualitative research method. This longitudinal study also evaluates the current state of therapeutic counselling in India by analysing counsellor education and therapy in practice at various centres and proposes an indigenous therapeutic counselling model for India.
introduction and the problem India is a land rooted in long history, heritage and civilization with exclusive cultural religious practices and literatures dating back to early Iron Age. Indian civilization is also known for many systematic medical schools like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani together with various healing practices that are interwoven with numerous religious, cultural, magical and shamanic rituals. These healings are widely used even today to treat physical as well as psychological illness in India. The Western models of counselling and psychotherapy are not very popular among majority of the population except at few urban centres. Mental Health is one of the most neglected health care aspects in rural India in terms of physical facilities as well as trained mental health professionals (Thara & Srinivasan, 2000). According to a government survey, in India there is one psychiatrist for every 400,000 people (Kennedy, 2010). Acceptance and approval for psychology, counselling and psychotherapy is inadequate in India because the people do not view their mental illness in the same way they look at their physical ailments. Mental illness and psychological disturbances are not considered normal human illness. Due to this, stigma is attached to people who are affected with one or other forms of mental illness as well as who seek psychological assistance. Mental health concerns of the people are either neglected or viewed as serious mental disorders. It is also a fact that all psychological treatments and mental health assistance are zoomed to psychiatric care. The apathy from the part of mental health professionals in dealing with mentally ill people also makes things worse (Nagaswami, 1990). People are ashamed to reveal to an outsider that one of their family members is suffering from mental illness; rather the populace prefers to say that the family member is possessed by an evil spirit or affected by some astral influences. Therefore people prefer magical, religious, conjure practises and delusive healings rather than advanced medical treatments (Janetius, 2010). Although rapid expansions of psychological services are seen these days in the urban areas, counselling and psychotherapy have not penetrated the rural India that consists of nearly 70 percentage of the population.
On the other side, the demands of globalisation in various industrial and educational sectors, ever growing technology and mass media have consequently raised awareness and consequently counselling and guidance services have started in a minimal way in the urban centres. However, as acknowledged in many parts of the world, the therapeutic counselling that focuses on the comprehensive development of the person has become popular only in some metropolitan cities. In general, counselling is popularly associated with academic advising, career guidance in the educational setting and in the industrial setting with performance counselling. As far as mental health arena is concerned, the informal help or advice of community leaders, religious heads, and social workers who have minimal or little training in human behaviour and psychodynamic functioning prevails as therapeutic counselling. Counselling as a therapy modality differs from inchoate activities of such bare-foot counsellors. Counselling or psychotherapy in its truest sense is establishing a working relationships by a trained clinician in which treatment methods and techniques are guided by well-defined theoretical framework. The client comes with a presenting problem; the therapist and patient establish a working relationship; the therapist defines the problem and once defined, works on finding solution.
In counselling and psychotherapy, culture is understood to pose a significant influence in therapy outcome. Psychologists are becoming aware of the fact that people from different ethno-cultural groups do indeed have unique thinking, behaviour and personality patterns, entirely different from what the generalized Euro-American psychological theories suggest. Therefore, an effective therapist should work in harmony with the background influences of human conditions specifically the tradition, worldview, social, environmental and geographic condition of the clients. Since the Euro-American theories are generally taught in various educational, professional and paraprofessional institutions in India and similar therapy models are popularly practiced, the strong socio-cultural beliefs influencing the worldview of the people and its influence on mental health problems are ignored or overlooked. Therapy needs to integrate and incorporate the Indian worldview, cultural background and unique traditional healing modalities for better outcome; comprehensive theories to explain the Indian psyche, different development patterns and human behaviour need to be established for better therapeutic interventions. Preparing such an indigenous counselling and psychotherapy model by incorporating the current belief system and existing traditional modalities would be a real challenge. In view of this, this pioneering research evaluates the various psychology/counsellor education existing in the Indian sub-continent; it also identifies various practical difficulties of counselling process of many therapists; the process and outcome evaluation reports of clients to draw postulates to make possible a new form of indigenous therapeutic counselling and culture-specific psychotherapy for India.
Review of related literature
Worldview and mental health: Worldview has received increasing attention in the last few decades in the social science circles. Worldview is the lens through which people view and understand the world outside and around. It affects how people view different aspects of life - physical, emotional, spiritual, moral, social and mental. Worldview is rarely questioned because it is not perceived but rather preconceived; people believe them by default and on that basis understand the world and other realities and also make choices in life. Therefore, it is unexamined, unquestioned and generally made up of unconscious assumptions (Leith, 2003). According to Funk (2001) worldview is one's philosophy of life, mindset and outlook on life, formula for life, ideology, faith, or even religion. Worldview is neither a fixed reality nor completely expressed. Throughout history, worldview has constantly been challenged and updated among communities with new evidences of personal experiences and discoveries. New worldviews thus emerge not by replacing old worldview rather subsumes the preceding worldviews (Leith, 2003). Education, religion and openness to different cultures are a few of the factors that facilitate the process of emerging worldviews (Janetius, 2003).
Historically, most cultures have viewed mental illness in a religious or spiritual context – blaming possession by devils, human and divine curses, activity of spirits, witches or sorcery. When the causes of mental illness were poorly understood, religious, magical and mystical healings became popular with charms, talismans and other delusive means. Holes were drilled in the head to release the evil spirits and mentally ill people were burned to death in European countries in the medieval periods (Kemp & Williams, 1987). In the eighteenth century when mental illness has been identified as caused by biological causes, not an act of demons, opening of asylums to mentally ill people emerged in the European countries. However, the global scenario is far from scientific in understanding mental illness. In some African cultures it is believed that while inattentively stepping over a bit of sorcery can cause mental illness (Asonibare, 1999). People belonging to Buddhism and some forms of Hinduism who adhere to the reincarnation and karma philosophy do believe that mental illnesses are caused by the wrong doings in their previous births. Vietnamese who are not educated attribute a number of supernatural causes for mental illness, including spirit possession, black magic and astrological misalignment or in the Buddhist Karma (Nguyen, 2003). For the indigenous Cordillera people in the Philippines, besides a variety of causes of illness, malevolent spirits and witchcraft are the major causes of mental illness (Janetius, 2003).
In India a stigma is attached to the mentally ill people as well as to the entire family resulting in resentment, fear, and maltreatment (Murthy, 2003). To avoid disgrace, the family often hides the mentally ill family member from the public. The history of mental illness in a person's family also reduces his or her opportunity to marry. Mentally ill people are often sent to specific religious places that claim cure for mental illness irrespective of their religious origin, to be chained and nursed. This worldview has initiated numerous places of worship for such people irrespective of religion. An ancient Hindu Vaishnavite temple at Gunaseelam, on the banks of river Cauvery is known for powers to cure mentally ill people when they are chained in the temple-yard. Similarly there are numerous Christian shrines spread all over South India, especially the ones dedicated to St. Miguel, St. Jude, St Antony and other popular saints which are widely believed to cure mentally ill people by chasing out the evil spirits when people are chained in the premises. Similar beliefs and shrines (Earvadi in Ramanathapuram and Amparampalayam near Pollachi in the state of Tamil Nadu) are also widespread among Muslims in India. The government of India has prohibited chaining mentally ill people after the 2001 unpopular tragedy in a poorly maintained asylum near a mosque in Tamil Nadu, India in which 25 chained mentally ill people were burned to death by arson (Kumar, 2001). However, in many religious places the situation has not changed.
Indian community and the modern culture: Sweeping changes have been seen in the past few decades in the Indian society. Traditionally, a strict control over the individual and their actions is employed by caste and creed norms, elders in the family, family culture (whether the family is joint, nuclear or extended) and the local village governing body. However this scenario is not the same today due to education, mass media, migration to urban centres, vast urbanisation and globalisation.
The emerging Indian society is the outcome of historical, political history India has underwent at different times and the consequential paradigm shifts one bearing on the other; the change and impact continues till date. The ancient history of India undoubtedly portrays a society which was dominated and guided by philosophical, theological and religious concepts clued together. This social milieu of sacredness and social living underwent a sea of change due to subsequent Muslim invasions giving way to male dominance and prescribed gender roles, prohibitions in man-woman social contacts, expression of affection, and further confining women behind the veils and the inner walls of the house; added to that, the influence of colonial rulers of Europe who introduced Victorian mores together with the dualistic theology of Judaism and Christianity with a strong eschatological overture created a new moral ethics (Janetius, et al., 2009). The modern day liberated morals depicted through movies are widespread and impose a new sensual and consumerist social outlook. This sensual concept that has been depicted as a liberated concept is an added attraction to many even in the remotest rural communities and the younger generation run berserk falsifying and dethroning many of the traditional cultural norms.
The current Indian society therefore appears conservative in the core and liberal in the external. This is further evidenced by the widening gap between the social norms and social behaviour as the society transforms from conservative towards liberal which is viewed by the younger generation as progressive, on the contrary, by older generation as deviance (Janetius, et al, 2009). This dichotomous situation is the defining factor of social outlook, socio-cultural living and consequential behavioural pattern seen among people today.
Mental health and therapeutic counselling in India: WHO (2005) has estimated that about 5.8% of the total population in India has one or another mental health problem. A very high rate of suicide is reported in India with a ratio of 17.38 suicides per 100,000 people (Jacob et al. 2007). Smoking, drinking and disorders related to mood, emotions and thoughts are also widespread among the population. Figures show 12.2% of men smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day, and 3.2% of men drink alcohol every day (National Family Health Survey 2005).The prevalence of affective disorders was found to be 34 per 1000 population (Ganguli, 2000). The fascinating issue is that a person with mental health problem do not believe, accept or understand that s/he has problem, so also people who live with them due to lack of awareness and cultural acceptance of certain behaviours. For example a person who drinks excessively and abuses his wife at home is not identified as a person with mental health issue rather the situation plainly seen as two ordinary problems of men in general: a) he drinks excessively and wastes money, b) abuses his wife; or, it could be seen as a single problem: when he drinks he beats his wife. The consequences of drinking which results in abuse of wife, poor parenting, troubled socio-emotional living condition, and psycho-social disturbances are often overlooked and neglected. Therefore awareness and identification of mental health problem itself is lacking among people. Psychosis and severe mental problems like schizophrenia and the like are the ones commonly perceived as mental health problems by many in India today by both the educated as well as illiterate population.
The government of India together with the help of many social work organizations and NGOs have taken various steps to create awareness and educate people of the various mental health issues, thus helping people to remove the stigma attached to mental illness. A community-based health care system has been introduced to bring changes at grassroots level by using the members within the communities to educate people in diagnosing and raising awareness. This supportive system remains to be an effective method of providing primary preventative mental health care (Chatterjee et al. 2008). However, the whole concept of mental health in India largely revolves around psychiatry and clinical psychology, giving lesser room for counselling and guidance or other ordinary psychological assistance.
Counselling that has became popular in the west as a distinct therapy modality has not been practiced in the Indian subcontinent although scholars identify glimpses of Western counselling pattern and similar interventions in the early Hindu sacred writings. One of the highly acclaimed citations is in Bhagavad Gita where Lord Krishna works out for a change of behaviour through verbal communication with the hesitant Arjuna at the battle field of Kurukshethra. One can also see a lot of verbal communicative guidance as normal part of life in India often provided by elders, village heads, priests, and, a variety of magical, religious, delusive and fraudulent healers as well. Western psychology came to India in the first decades of 20th century as a discipline at Calcutta University following the traditions of Wundt (Jain, 2005). With the colonial influence and the assorted educational system, British School of Psychology became popular in the academic arena. After the independence, in the 1960’s psychologists realised that psychology failed to make an impact on the life of the country and people especially in the social arena (Sinha, 1994). When the government of India established an autonomous organisation named Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) in 1968, research in the field of social sciences developed (Jain, 2005). Yet, as seen in the developed countries, psychology has not penetrated the life of the society.
In the recent years, the industrial and educational globalisations have demanded the introduction of counselling and guidance services in India in a broader way. Even so, it is early to say that therapeutic counselling has received popularity and recognition as in many developed countries. Whilst therapeutic counselling is slowly gaining grounds, reputation and credence, the efficient intervention and effective therapy outcome is tainted by the blind adherence to Western theories and models of therapy (Soundararajan, 2009). In spite of the fact that some Indian therapists integrate yoga and meditation practices into counselling and psychotherapy process (Clay, 2002), the whole phenomenon is handicapped due to lack of indigenous models defining precisely the therapy setting, distinctive counselling process, culture-specific theory bases and exclusive mode of practice which could influence the smooth flow of therapy process-outcome to satisfy the Indian mind.
Culture and psychology: Health, sickness and cure are culturally defined. What is normal behaviour in one culture is abnormal in another culture. Walking around barefoot in India would be appreciated as a sign of religious austerity, at the same time labelled as uncouth behaviour in another culture. After eating a sumptuous meal, relieving a loud belch vocally would keep happy the host, inducing a feeling of content for making the guest happy, however, will be noted awkward behaviour in another culture. In India suicide for the sake of some ideology or for a hero is seen as an honourable act by many. Also among some freedom fighters in some cultures suicide bombing (killing them in the process of killing others) for some perceived rights or perceived evils of another group is considered an act of honour. However in many parts of the world suicidal tendency is diagnosed with some form of psychological problem. Interfering in the internal affairs of another country is a political crime in some countries and cultures; at the same time in the name of global peace, dominance and warfare is accepted as a good act of good governance in another culture.
DSM-IV R, the primary reference manual used by American Psychiatric Association suggests the importance of recognising the cultural issues in diagnosing mental disorders for a meaningful therapy. An entire section has been included in each of the diagnostic categories with an outline of cultural formulation to help professionals to review the cultural background of the client. DSM also accepts culture-bound syndromes (that is disorders that tend to occur in specific cultures). However, the ground reality in the Asian, African countries is that the psychological theories of human development and human behaviour that are back bone of any diagnosis and therapy process are Euro-American. There is lack of well-defined patterns of scientific knowledge leading to precise theories of human and social phenomenon.
Globally, many scholars have raised questions about the appropriateness of universal theories and have argued for indigenising theories for local use. At the same time, scholars who claim universal application of theories and concepts speciously label many diverse unique cultural concepts and ideologies as mere exceptions and, or limitations. When the uniqueness of different indigenous, culturally different knowledge domains are ignored or labelled as limitations or minority concepts, many cultural knowledge bases are thrust to the fringe of oblivion and annihilation.
Another point of concern would be the orientation towards studying culture. Orientation towards culture has three distinct perspectives: absolutism, universalism and relativism (Su, 2006). Most Euro-American theories in mainstream psychology claim absolutistic stance which acclaim that human phenomenon across cultures are the same and the variations seen are hindrance for universal understanding. On the other hand, cultural relativism promotes various cultural groups’ rights to follow their own unique paths of development and knowledge bases, distinctive activities, values and norms for culture-specific approach. Therefore relativism could be an ideal approach for indigenizing knowledge base and education.
Indian Psychology: Comprehending Indian psychology is a very demanding task because there is no single frame of thought to locate psychological concepts amidst the pool of ancient Indian thinking. Indian psychology, as it is identified and understood today, is basically the philosophical thoughts inherent in Vedas, Upanishads, Yoga, Bhagavad Gita, Buddhism, Jainism and other philosophical and religious schools each having unique features. Some common themes often talked about are consciousness of self and the super consciousness of absolute Self identified with God or an abstract Supreme consciousness that governs the universe; the four motives to wellbeing namely kama, artha, dharma and moksha derived from various religio-philosophical schools, the nishkama karma of Hinduism, kevalin in Jainism or the nirvana of Buddhism are some of the concepts of Indian psychology prominently seen in books Some popular practices like yoga, meditation, pranayama and similar breathing exercises are applied and projected in various fields as the unique component of Indian psychology and therapy.
Although scholars all over the world look at traditional Indian psychology for inspiration to explain various subjective human phenomena, the traditional psychology does not include modern developments, fails to explain human life and living as we live and experience today (Rao, K. R., et al., 2008). In the field of therapy, the age old meditation techniques and yoga practices of comprehensive living pattern of ancient traditional schools are simplified as a very good relaxation technique working in the similar principles of bio-feedback. Another popular practice among many scholars today is the subjective interpretation and integration of the life of specific Indian sages as the guiding principles of Indian psychology. One such example would be the Indian psychology based on the life and philosophy of Sri Aurbindo offered by the affiliated Institutes. Scarce attempts that are taken in an unorganised way to elevate the traditional Indian psychology to the realm of modern scientific psychology still remain in the embryonic stage.
In India, developing an indigenous psychology and psychotherapy has been the focal point of discussion for the past few decades (Sinha, J.B.P. 1993, 2000). Although many steps have been taken in the last decade to identify Indian psychology to formulate therapy models, such initiatives failed to bear fruit (Adair, Puhan, & Vohra, 1993). The Indian psychology needs to be revived and many contemporary practices need to be incorporated in the Indian subcontinent by vast research to bring psychology to the realm of scientific inquiry. Such an endeavour will pave way for effective counselling and psychotherapy in the Indian subcontinent. .
The objectives of this exploratory study are threefold: First, the study explores the current situation of psychology, counselling and psychotherapy in counsellor education in India. Secondly, the study evaluates the cultural appropriateness of therapeutic counselling as it is practiced today in India and the practical difficulties faced by the therapists. Finally, it, postulates ways and means of creating an indigenous therapeutic counselling and psychotherapy model for India.
This exploratory study was conducted in three stages using mixed methods of data collection. In the first two stages data were collected from various sources and in the final stage an indigenous therapy model was drafted.
In the initial stage of the research, two kinds of data were collected. The first set of data consists of the syllabi of counselling courses offered at various institutes, colleges and universities in India. This was done in two ways: the institutes that offer counselling courses were identified through internet. The institutes that have their syllabus posted on their websites were collected. Syllabi from other institutes were gathered through mail communication. Totally syllabi from a total of 42 institutes were gathered. Second set of data were collected from practicing counsellors by interview. The practicing counsellors were identified through Google search engine and Likedin professional network. Once the names the counsellors were identified, they were selected using purposive sampling based on education and work experience. Preference was given to those practitioners who have Masters and above education and more than 3 years of practice. Thus 74 practicing therapists were selected for interview. The therapists who were residing in an assessable distance were interviewed face to face and the rest through telephone calls. The interview questions focused on three main themes: the practical difficulties in using Western theories and therapy models, counselling process using such orientations and, whether any culture-specific approaches utilized.
.In the second stage, autoethnography qualitative research methodology was employed to evaluate the counselling process and outcome of the researcher himself. Two sets of data were gathered and analysed in this stage. First, the process and outcome reports of randomly selected 480 clients of the researcher that spread over a period of seven years were studied to identify various factors that influence therapy. Secondly, an evaluation report in retrospect from 224 clients who underwent therapy with the researcher in the last three years was done. The clients were selected based on the availability of the clients when they were contacted. Evaluation questions focused on the various aspects of counselling process, style and techniques used by the researcher. The syllabus collected were classified into three categories namely, pure western models and theory based; western models combined with some Indian techniques and practices; pure Indian theories and models. The interview data were classified into categories based on the methods and techniques used by the therapists. Various practical difficulties, inabilities and inadequacies and cultural appropriateness faced in the therapy process were identified and classified. Further, themes like what facilitated the clients in the therapy process and the outcome of specific techniques were identified and explored from the client’s data.
Indigenous therapeutic counselling: Based on the various findings of the study, the author proposes a transpersonal therapy model. Transpersonal approach is gaining popularity as an integrative therapy modality in which many disciplines merge together. It embraces an oriental worldview that incorporates elements of personal mysticism, native philosophy, cosmology and traditional culture and worldview. Thus transpersonal counselling and psychotherapy is very much in tune with Eastern cultures and worldview that goes in tune with meditation, yoga, shamanic and traditional healings, therapeutic touch, reiki, acupuncture, and other supernatural, mystical and psychic practices. Many cultural components could be very well integrated into psychotherapy and counselling, provided the counsellor or therapist is very intuitive, creative and skilled. Taken into consideration the various inadequacies of the current therapy practice and the uniqueness of India psyche, the author proposes a six stage counselling model (figure 4).
It is not necessary to be a follower of any religion to use transpersonal approach in counselling and psychotherapy. However, certain counsellor characteristics are very important to be an effective transpersonal therapist. In the first place, the counsellor/therapist must be aware and accept that people do have unique worldview emerging from their belief system both religio-philosophical and cultural leading to their unique health concepts. This together with another counsellor characteristic, that is, an unconditional approach in accepting the clients as they are together with their problems, but also accepting the client’s problem in their belief system. This identification of problem form the point of client’s worldview should be the basic philosophy of counselling. These counsellor characteristics, the philosophy of counselling and unconditional acceptance of client’s belief system make the therapist a welcome person to open the problems of the client.
In the Indian scenario, an elaborate family background of the client needs to be probed in order to understand the unique family dynamics of the client together with the belief system regarding the causes of sickness. Indians generally are family oriented people and the collective mind set as against individual living plays a vital role in therapy too, especially in identifying any problem both individual as well as social.
In the next stage, through that medium of respecting and accepting the personal experiences of the clients as they are and also identifying the client’s specific concepts and views regarding healing, the therapy process should be directed. Sometimes this could be done together with the exploration of family background.
Once the belief system and the problems are explored together with the family dynamics of the client, the therapy process could be initiated. Help the client to re-establish a conscious relationship with self and others by different modalities applicable and acceptable to the individual. Some form of customary rituals and reconciliation (with self & others), if the client’s problem demands, could be combined in the therapy process. Reconciliation, with the self, others or even spiritual and religious forces is a main factor that need to be adopted in the therapy process. Meditation as such is an integral part of Indian psyche and that could be very well utilised in various means and modalities.
The following are some explicit techniques that could be integrated into the therapy process: if the client relies on factors outside his or her self to facilitate healing ask the client to close the eyes and visualize them as a healing technique. If the client is religious, some acts of reconciliation with God, seeking forgiveness of God could be suggested. Prayer and meditation could be encouraged because many prayer and religious practices of various religious sects are similar to catharsis and, Indian meditation brings out the same effects of imagery and relaxation techniques. If the client has no religious beliefs, focus on some values and spirituality of the client (doing justice, possessing rationality and free will to decide etc…). The use of sayings from ancient wisdom, proverbs and words of eminent people would inspire the people for a quick realisation of problems.
In the final step, facilitate and help the client to build new patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour (based on the belief system either religious or spiritual) by way of meditation, visualization and autosuggestions. As the session comes to an end, a piece of therapeutic touch (in which the therapist touches the client in consolation or as a sign of blessing) which is one of the earliest and widely seen healing practises all over the world and traditions could be employed. This can create wide range of positive impacts in the client. If the client is very religious, a word of promise ‘I will pray for you…’ will bring enormous amount of positive feelings and confidence that can generate extra-boost to the healing process.
Psychology evolved purely as a scientific endeavour in 1879 by Wilhelm Wundt and strengthened by behaviourists J. B. Watson, B. F. Skinner, etc., is a strong force today in defining human behaviour and psychotherapy. In India such initiatives have not yet been started, although the country has great traditional knowledge base. The study identifies the need for local theories to explain the current life situation, human behaviour and above all the need for an indigenous culture-specific psychotherapy. As modern cultures and technologies spread around the world, the traditional cultural practices diminish continually as older generations pass away and younger generations slowly set aside their traditional ways and adapt to new life styles. However, the psyche still holds on the remnants of the past and, traditions. Sometimes it can create or lead to inner conflicts too. Therefore many researchers are now placing a greater emphasis on recording indigenous cultures and knowledge. A therapist who recognizes the cultural practices, belief system and health concepts behind the client’s illness and healing can do therapy in a very comfortable way. This study gives counsellors and psychotherapists a new perspective in understanding and helping people in India. The study is meaningful for counselling and psychotherapy because it draws postulates for practical consideration to enhance culture-specific therapy.
In these days of prevalent Western doctrines, theories and frameworks on mental health and therapeutic interventions, the findings of this study stimulate discussions to create increased understanding of current culture of the people and worldview as it is lived today. In India the traditional Psychology based on religio-philosophical concepts need to be incorporated into theories of human behaviour and life so that current life and behaviour of the people could be explained correctly and accurately for a better therapy outcome. By taking a closer look at the current conditions of counselling and psychotherapy, the study concludes that the counselling processes proposed by eminent psychologists around the globe need to be adapted in such a way that it is acceptable and comprehensible to the local people for its better utilization.