Thursday, 27 August 2009

Counselling can produce a nation of wimps

When anyone has been through a difficult, stressful or traumatic experience in life, such as severe bullying at school, child abuse, incest, sexual abuse, rape, a parent or parents or sibling has been murdered or killed in a plane crash, I am all in favour of anyone counselling being given, or at least offered. It can help the individual to come to terms with the event or events, and also to begin to move on with their life. Counselling can help, as you have someone to share your problems with, or a shoulder to cry on, as they say.

However, they seem to do overdo it with both the counselling and compensation aspects of life these days, and offer it, or provide it for the slightest thing. For example, children often receive counselling and therapy because a Teacher or another pupil has died. As sad as that is, children have to learn that death is an unwelcome, though natural part of life.

Yes it is tragic when most children die, but then it is equally tragic when most people die who are young. If any pupil or Teacher had died when I was at Secondary School, I wouldn't have sought or needed counselling. I definitely wouldn't have sought or needed it if had been someone who I disliked, or didn't know. Yes, we are all different, and we react to experiences in a different manner, but to provide counselling over a Teacher's death?

I remember in late March 1987, when I was in the final year at Junior school, a Teacher of ours, though she wasn't a class Teacher of mine, was murdered by her dad at home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. He also murdered her mother. Her dad must have either been an extremely violent person, or he must have freaked out, for some reason or other. Very sad obviously.

For this tragic event, none of us pupils were provided with or offered counselling. Instead, when Calendar TV spoke to Mr Best outside school, the only counselling we were given was to keep away from the class windows and to stop looking.

When two Secondary School Teachers died (A lot of pupils went to his funeral. I wasn't one of them), we weren't given or offered counselling or therapy. We just got on with it. How did pupils cope 30, 40 or 50 years ago when another pupil or Teacher died? They just got on with it and grieved in their own way. Was counselling offered in World War I or World War II to civilians or those who fought. No, but they needed it much more than what is offered for some events which occur nowadays.

Similarly, when someone has been slightly injured in a car crash or someone has gone into the back of their car. Unpleasant yes, but a cause for counselling? In June 1997 I was slightly injured in a car crash. I was thrown forward and banged my forehead on the dashboard. The car was a write-off. I didn't ask for or seek counselling. Neither was I offered it. Nowadays I would probably would have been given it - mandatorily. You hear about counselling been offered or provided for dogbites, or relationship break-ups. Where is it going to stop for comparatively trivial matters? Will counselling be offered soon because someone has missed a bus, or has had a powercut, or because their football team has been relegated?

The compensation culture is something that also needs to be look at. Common sense needs to be applied with cases of suing. It has reached a pitch now that, I wouldn't be surprised to read that, Mr Law will be sued by William Rit, because Mr Law started at W.Rit. However, W.Rit then countersues Mr Law because of the emotional stress of being sued!

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