Thursday, April 20, 2017

Counselling or Therapy – Does it Work...?

A Story and Food for Thought


“Thanks for the lift...” I said.

“Come on  it’s okay. The University is on the way to Hinjewadi...” he said.

“I never knew it rained so heavily in Pune. Luckily I met you on the flight. Otherwise  I would have been stuck at the airport.”

“Coming to Pune for the first time...?”

“No. But I am visiting Pune after a long time. I lived here more than twenty five years ago. I taught at the University.”

“Oh. So you were a Professor...? No wonder you are so knowledgeable. I must say your research paper at the IEEE Conference was really impressive.”

“Thanks. It’s good they had the conference in Delhi. It gave me an opportunity to visit India after a long time. A few years ago – I had made a hurried lecture trip to Bangalore  but I just could not make it to Pune.”

“So you are going to the University for delivering a lecture there on Signal Processing is it...?”

“No. No. Actually I have come to Pune to meet a lady. I lost contact with her ever since I left Pune – you know those days there was no email, no internet, nothing  and I am quite poor at letter writing.”

“This lady – does she work in the University...?”

“No. She lives in a bungalow off Ganeskhind Road. It is near the University Gate – I think I will be able to find it from there.”

“I doubt it. The whole place has changed. There are hardly any bungalows now – there are high rises and malls and multiplexes there now. You won’t even recognize the place. Have you got her name, her address...?”

“Yes...” I said  and I gave him the piece of paper I had in my pocket. 

The man looked at the paper in a curious sort of way and asked me: “You want to meet her...? After so many years...?”

“Yes  I want to meet her to express my gratitude – she saved my marriage...” I said.

“She saved your marriage...?” he asked, looking curious.

So – I told him the whole story: 

“Yes. Me and my wife – we were going to divorce – our differences had become irreconcilable – our relationship was beyond repair – it was an irretrievable breakdown of marriage. That’s what everybody said  all the marriage counsellors we consulted  our relatives – our friends  everyone said that our marriage had broken down beyond repair – till we met her. She was the best marriage counsellor we ever met. She saved our marriage. She is the one who advised us to leave all our unpleasant baggage behind and relocate to a new place and to start a new life afresh. It worked. I have to meet her this time. God knows when I will come to India next. My wife has sent her a gift too – a diamond necklace.”

“Well  this lady does not live at this address anymore. She lives in Aundh...” the man said.

“How do you know...? You know her...?”

“Of course I know her. She is my wife,” he said matter-of-factly.

“What...? But how can she be your wife...?”

“She and her husband  I mean her ex-husband – they got divorced a few years ago. And  after her divorce  she married me...” he said, matter-of-factly.

I did not say anything. 

I was dumbstruck. 

She was such a good marriage counsellor.

How could she have got divorced herself...? 

I could not believe it.

“I know what you are thinking and what’s going on in your mind,” he said, “If she was such a good marriage counsellor who saved so many marriages  then how could she not save her own marriage...?”

“Yes…” I said incoherently.

“Why don’t you ask her that when you meet her...?” he said.

“Meet her...?”

“Of course. Aundh is on the way. I will take you to my home. I had told my wife that I would be driving straight to work from the airport – but lets surprise her. I am sure she will remember you. You two can meet – you can talk about the good old days  and I’ll try to finish off my work early and be back in time for lunch. And then  we will drop you off at the airport for your evening flight.”

“No,” I said, “I better not meet her.”

“Come on  be a sport. Don’t tell me you don’t want to gift her the diamond necklace you have brought with you all the way from America. Come home and meet my wife. She will love to meet you.

“Okay... I agreed reluctantly.

“Good...” the man said to me with a smile. 

He was silent for some time. 

Then the man turned towards me and he said to me: 

“By the way  let me warn you – she has given up marriage counselling...” 



I heard a story from someone  probably apocryphal  about a lady counsellor. 

She was counselling a man for his drinking problem. 

(The husband had been brought to the lady counsellor by his wife). 

I do not know whether the counselling worked or not – but I was aghast to learn that the lady counsellor’s own husband was an alcoholic. 

Charity begins at home. 

If the lady was not able to “counsel” her own husband and cure him of his alcoholism  how could she cure others...?

If you have a personal problem like drinking or smoking  the best way is to solve it yourself. 

No one else can solve your problem better than you yourself. 

In these cases you just have to quit drinking or smoking. 

It is that simple. 

The solution is in your hands. 

Why do you need to go to a counsellor who will advise you to stop drinking or quit smoking or abstain from drugs and harmful substances...? 

Why not do it yourself...?

First – you have to decide what is good for you – and if you make up your mind to give up any habit – you can do it yourself. 

I did it myself. 

I took a decision and I quit smoking and drinking forever  on the spot  there and then  in one day  and I have never smoked tobacco or drank alcohol since. 

You can do it too. 

It works. 

You can take my word for it.

Similarly  if two persons have a mutual problem  is not best if they can solve it themselves without involving a third party...? 

Take the case of marriage. 

I feel that it is best for the husband and wife to mutually resolve issues in the marital relationship – rather than involve someone else. 

If the marital relationship between husband and wife gets so deteriorated that a third party needs to get involved in order for the couple to communicate  then the relationship is already dead in the water. 

When a relationship gets terribly demoralized by distrust  I feel that it is better to break up and terminate the relationship – rather than try to patch it up  especially by third party intervention.

That’s why I sometimes wonder whether marriage counselling really works – or is it just a gimmick? 

If marriage counselling is really so effective – then why are there so many divorces...? 

Why can’t we solve our problems ourselves...? 

Why can't a husband and wife sort out their issues mutually themselves...?

This is the message in my story on marriage counselling.

I sometimes wonder about the very concept of counselling  especially marriage counselling. 

Does counselling help...? 

Who does it help more – the counselee or the counsellor...? 

I think counselling actually helps the counsellor more than the counselee. 

Yes, sometimes therapy it helps the therapist more than the patient.  

Firstly  there are the benefits of ego massage (a sense of self-satisfaction for the counsellor at having “helped” someone).

But  more importantly  it is a fact that: 

Talking with someone who needs comforting  makes your own troubles go away. 

That is why I think: 

The lady whose own husband was an alcoholic – she derived solace from counselling other alcoholics

And – like I described in the fiction short story above  maybe: 

A person whose own marriage is unhappy – may find vicarious relief by indulging in marriage counselling.

Dear Reader: 

Do you agree...? 

What is your experience...? 

Do you think counselling or therapy works...? 

In which scenarios does counselling/therapy work – and in which situations is counselling/therapy ineffective...? 

Do comment and let us know your views.

Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

and  etc

No comments: