Counseling Psychology Describe the Mental Hygiene Movement Essay

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Counseling Psychology

Describe the mental hygiene movement in Counseling Psychology.

Mental hygiene can be considered as a science of preventing disorders and maintaining a mental health at their full mental capability. This involves the precautions that are taken in order to encourage and safeguard the mental health. It offers therapy for the mentally disturbed, takes preventive measures of the ailment, and also assists in helping the patients cope with this stress. The community recognizes the relationship between mental health, the population affected by it, and also its effect on the society (Pointon, 2004). This division on mental health handles people with social problems which include drug addiction, and suicide attempts. Most of the people suffering mental ailments have been neglected by the society. Others have been mistreated while the rest have been isolated from the society. Treatment and prevention to this condition involves prenatal care, child abuse programs, and also counseling offered to the victims. Use of psychotherapy and drug therapy done sometimes by support groups has been of major help (Pointon, 2004).

Mental Hygiene movement was mostly introduced to curb prostitution and the health hazards that came along with it. This movement was introduced between the late nineteenth an twentieth century. The movement's aim was to protect the social purity professionally (Thorne, 2000). American Social Hygiene Association is a movement that was created in 1913 and was introduced to schools for teaching of hygiene purposes. By the twentieth century, counseling psychology was introduced to deal with those who were dealing with mental illness.

Instead of focusing on the mental treatment, the mental hygiene movements concentrated on how to prevent it. They also concentrated on how to promote the mental health. They placed their emphasis on children because research showed that most of these distresses were as a result of early childhood experiences. This made them reach out to the parents first to educate them on the effects of childhood on mental illnesses. The mental hygienists involved the schools in these programs so as to reach out to the children (Pointon, 2004).

During the 1920s, the mental hygiene movements had touched on the restorative perception on the problems faced by children every day. Clinics were put up and together with the juvenile courts; they were able to handle children's mental problems. The movements saw the need to introduce these programs in the form of a curriculum to schools and included developmental psychology (Thorne, 2000).The initial idea was to bring awareness to the teachers on the effect of childhood experiences, and mental illnesses. They felt that schools were the places children were trained to mould their character, thus preparing them for life ahead. This helped in enlightening the society on how to handle the mentally ill.

Before this the introduction of the mental hygiene movements, the mentally ill were being treated like outcasts. Some traditions believed that the mentally sick were cursed. Others believed that they were demon processed, and hence they had to do some ritual cleansing to them. The mental hygiene movement enlightened the society on the effects of this ailment. The mentally ill were mistreated and isolated from the community. The education program trains the society on how to handle the mentally ill and also offers therapies to them (Thorne, 2000).

Most mental illness come with stress and sometimes drug use. When an individual is not able to get counseling at the early stages, they may end up being mentally ill. Today we have psychotherapists who have been trained to handle stress management as a preventive measure to mental illness. Some people who have adapted the use of drugs are able to consult these movements who in turn offer psychotherapy to these patients. Research shows that most of the patients have healed from these therapies. In cases of suicidal attempts, the therapists have been able to council the patients before they commit the crime (Thorne, 2000).

The mental hygiene psychology department has been the most useful counseling section in our world today. This is because of the vast life which has introduced people to the world of distress. People in the society seem to be biting more than they can chew. This pressure calls for psychological intervention. With globalization at its highest developments, many people have taken on to drugs especially the teenagers. This is because of the exposure through media, and other means. There can be no better business to invest in today other than psychology clinics. The mental hygiene movements have rescued the world because everyone seems to be going through some level of stress. The environments we are living including the work places are full of stress. Though the formation of the movement was for a different purpose, prostitution, it brought about the introduction of mental hygiene in lessons in school which has brought soberness to the society.

Explain the history of counseling Psychology and compare and contrast its ideas about the Unifying theme of counseling psychology.

Counseling psychology is considered a very unique and important field in psychology. It focuses on a number of mental health problems faced by patients all over the world. Counseling psychology was set up to help people with diverse mental related problems ranging from anxiety, depression, family problems or social problems (Moller 2011). The field was set up to help patients with more serious mental health problems such as Schizophrenia. Counseling psychology is unique as compared to other branches that constitute the study of psychology as a whole due to their specialty in dealing with mental problems. Counseling psychology is different from clinical psychology since the latter focuses on treating mental problems or symptoms while the former stresses on dealing with the problem at hand before it gets worse. Counseling psychology, therefore, try to prevent the mental problem from starting up before it becomes too serious (Moller 2011).

Counseling psychology just like many other branches of psychology started because of the Second World War. When the war ended, many war veterans needed a means to earn a living so as to look after their families. These men and women needed some assistance in which they could get some form of vocational training and job placement to become eligible for employment as there was no more combat for them, the only work they knew at the time. In between the 1940s and 1950s, the veteran administration which is part of a government agency contacted several universities stating the need for more training of career counselors in the country. Many psychology students joined the universities and adopted the counseling program leading to the creation of a new branch of psychology referred to as counseling psychology. Many people had become mentally affected by the war, veterans with trauma, families who lost their loved ones had depression and anxiety and the field was created to help such people in the time (Moller 2011).

One major factor that was crucial in the history of counseling psychology was psychometrics or otherwise known as psychological testing. It was initially used for individuals who wanted to join the army where an intelligence test was conducted upon them, or on people who demonstrated a deficiency in their learning ability. It was later to be incorporated as a learning unit in counseling psychology. In the year 1946, an important breakthrough was found when National Mental Health act was passed that mandated the government to inject more funds in the psychology department to facilitate research on mental problems, training of the counseling psychologists, prevention as well as treatment of the various mental problems in the country (Cutts 2011).

It is difficult to determine the conception of counseling psychology due to the many antecedents used. It is formulated from the many theories and as well as techniques previously used by former psychologists. Some of these psychologists whose techniques were used are Sigmund Freud and Eric Erickson. The many theories used as well as techniques were meant to bring a unifying theme into this branch of psychology. They were used as a basis of research on how to prevent mental problems and various methods to use to deal with them when they occurred. The theories were taught to the students who would later apply the theories and techniques they had learned over the years to treat mental patients and to bring unity of all the theories into one broad field of counseling psychology. It is for this reason that counseling psychology cannot be stated to constitute a single theory or technique to treat all the mental problems. One of the theories used was the "talk theory" that came from Sigmund Freud. Other psychologists who played an important role in the conception of counseling psychology are; Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, Lightner Witmer as well as Carl Rogers who emphasized on the need for creating a good therapist- client relationship (Cutts 2011).

These theories were, however, placed under great scrutiny on the concept that together they formed counseling psychology. Critics insisted that some of the theories could not be used such as that of…

Sources Used in Document:


Cutts, L. (2011). Integration in counseling psychology: To what purpose?. Counseling Psychology Review, 26(2), 38-48.

Watkins Jr., C. Edward. (1992). Historical influences on the use of assessment methods in counseling psychology Counselling Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 5 Issue 2.

Thorne, Frederick C.(2000). The field of clinical psychology: Past, present, and future . Journal of Clinical Psychology, Volume 56, Issue 3, pages 257 -- 274,

Pointon, Clare. (2004). Difference and equality in practice. CPJ: Counselling & Psychotherapy Journal, Vol. 15. Issue 8, p42

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