Liberation Psychology Approaches to Counselling – The Wider Implications

Liberation Psychology often finds itself at the forefront of the ever-redefining lines of psychology in general – whether this is how we choose to make diagnosis, to how accurate and useful established labelling of some conditions may be, to give some examples. Counselling is an integral part of any psychological care or inquiry, and there is strong evidence to suggest that the approach employed by liberation psychology in relation to counselling can have much wider impacting, positive outcomes for not only patients but also communities at large.

The Fundamental Differences

In contrast to traditional psychological approaches, which often ignore social and contextual relevance, liberation psychology actively incorporates the importance of these factors on both an individual and community. Given the roots of Liberation Psychology, this is perhaps no surprise, but while the founding reasons for the approach are indeed based on communities that are in general struggling with social justice issues, there is evidence to suggest that adopting Liberation Psychology as wider approach is beneficial to counselling approaches all over the world. This of course, makes sense: Most communities, whatever their location, economic and political stability, will often face problems unique to their social environments. While we may find cases of similar conditions in many different places, such as depression for example, the reasons and causes for these conditions will greatly vary from individual to individual, society to society. The causes of depression are numerous, and the condition is often not set off by any one, but a combination of a number of triggers. However, the social climate can have severe effects on what triggers are likely to be more common. Countries struggling for social justice for example, will generally have differing levels, and potency of triggers compared to the UK. Of course, there are many common elements that contribute to depression, and this perhaps argues well in defence of employing liberation psychology counselling methods: By understanding and addressing the importance of social and environmental factors that are unique to the individual, the chances of successful counselling are increased, as well as achieving a greater understanding of root causes. Continue reading

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