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Illness vs Wellness model in Counselling.

The wellness versus illness model in counselling emphasizes the importance of taking a holistic and integrative approach to mental health.


This model recognizes that individuals are complex beings who have physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual dimensions. Rather than focusing solely on symptoms and diagnoses, the wellness versus illness model takes into account all aspects of an individual's life in order to promote their overall wellbeing.


Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst, believed that psychological health was not simply the absence of symptoms or neuroses, but rather the integration of all parts of the self. Jung believed that we each have a personal unconscious, which contains aspects of our psyche that are unique to us, as well as a collective unconscious, which contains archetypes that are common to all of humanity. Jung believed that the goal of therapy was to help individuals become more aware of these unconscious aspects of themselves and to integrate them into their conscious life. As he wrote, "The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown."


Carl Rogers, an American psychologist, believed that individuals have an innate drive towards self-actualization, or reaching their full potential. Rogers believed that the role of the therapist was to create a safe and non-judgmental space where clients could explore their feelings and thoughts and ultimately become more self-aware. Rogers believed that individuals are capable of growth and change and that the therapeutic relationship is crucial to facilitating that growth. As he wrote, "The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change."


Both Jung and Rogers believed in the importance of taking a holistic approach to mental health, which is at the core of the wellness versus illness model in counselling. By addressing all aspects of an individual's life and helping them to integrate unconscious aspects of themselves into their conscious life, therapists can promote their overall wellbeing and help them to reach their full potential.


As Jung said, "Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." And as Rogers said, "The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination."


Louise Barr.



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