In the last ten years, many counseling centers have sprung up in cities and small towns. There is an increasing need for this as stress levels rise due to workplace and family tensions. Most people go to counselors to use them as a sounding board. Talking helps to purge ones emotions and the listener provides the empathy that the person seeks. All fine but of what use is listening if it does not provide an alternative to an existing problem? I believe that counseling should be action and result oriented. A counselor should be a practical being with diverse experiences in life and a down to earth approach. Some counselors are themselves stressed in personal lives and become part time counselors to keep themselves busy in a ‘purposeful way’. Students passing out of college become counselors and I wonder if they know enough about life through theoretical knowledge, to be able to help their clients. More than psychological counseling, what people need is philosophical counseling. The guidance to cope with their problems by introspecting and analyzing. PEACE is the formula. The author recommends this in a book Plato not Prozac.
P – is for identifying the problem. Once we know what it is, it is easier to handle it
E – for recognizing the emotion that surrounds the problem – like anger, frustration, grief
A – is for analyzing the whole thing
C – is for contemplating on all aspects of it
E – is for equilibrium that should result out of it
Self counseling is best and that can happen by reading, observing and listening to the advice of well wishers! The main thing is to introspect. Every problem starts with some action or behavior of the individual and that is where the solution lies too. Half our problems are solved if we examine our attitudes and behavior and decide to change them if they are causing the stress. As a philosopher said, an unexamined life is not worth living. And an examined life means constant thinking and analyzing ones action and behavior.
One of the worst legacies left behind by the British is cricket. It is great for couch potatoes and wastrels no doubt and of course for the players too who mint money. As Bernard Shaw rightly said, the ones who watch are greater fools than the ones who play. At least the players get fame and fortune while the spectators just get some thrills and end up wasting their time which otherwise could have been fruitfully utilized. There was time when I liked the game because it was played once in a while and the game was played for the love of it. Today, it has been commercialized with every cash rich company sponsoring a match and unhealthy practices like match fixing creeping into it. Not to mention politics in selection of team and players. Players are used by advertisers as models for products totally unconnected with sports and they are becoming part time film stars. If they really want to be role models and endorse a product, they should do so for public service Ads and socially purposeful causes. I wish other sports would get half the footage that cricket gets.