Mental Health Monday: Carl, Counseling, Culture and Context

Freud often gets a reputation as being a perv. Keep in mind he was dealing with wealthy, Victorian women who were stuffy, so sexual issues were repressed and not often discussed.

Also consider American culture when Rogerian theory was tested and arrived as influential.  Children were to be “seen and not heard.” Authoritarianism was the norm.  Politicians, parents, church leaders were generally obeyed and respected.  For a client to sit in the chair and be totally accepted and allowed to say, think, feel whatever they honestly felt was drastically new and innovative. People desperately needed that.

What about now?  What about subsequent generations?

Saw a lot of TV about the Kennedy assassination because of the 50th anniversary.  Many view that as a turning point in American history towards cynicism and pessimism.  Definitely the Vietnam era saw rebellion and revolution become a norm.  Authority and Authoritarianism took some big hits in the 60s and 70s.  The period from the Dealey Plaza to Watergate saw revolutionary, societal change in American.

So now we have a few generations raised in a more lassez-faire atmosphere as far as parenting is concerned.  Instead of being seen and not heard, the spotlight landed directly on the youth of our families and culture. Authority–whether governmental, church, or parental–is not as respected as in Rogers day.

So what about these people? Maybe some boomers, but definitely the more recent generations? Will they respond to “unconditional positive regard” as well as previous generations? Some will suggest they have already received too much of it. Will they need more direction because of the lack of direction given during their upbringing?

I don’t have answers, just some thoughts I wanted to share. I do believe that culture has a great impact.

What do you think?


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