Beyond the medical model: the counselling practitioners’ experiences in primary health care counselling.  

by Batendi Mkweli , University of Nottingham, 2007 added 28/10/2008

Primary Health Care Counselling can best be understood primarily from three view points; the GPs, the Counsellors and the Clients. These three groupings are the key players and the true value of counselling in Primary Health Care may vary depending on which group’s view point is being considered. This study considers the Counsellors’ view point and based on the experiences of this group of practitioners this study suggests that Primary Health Care cannot continue to be understood within the definitions of traditional medical interventions, but rather these traditional interventions must be used in conjunction with counselling interventions. The two models should not be used as alternatives to each other but as a total package in dealing with client symptoms in Primary Health Care. Whilst the counsellors interviewed for this study do indicate that there is still considerable ground to be covered in working with clients from ethnic minorities and men in general, this study shows that Primary Health Care Counselling affords greater opportunities for therapeutic interventions to these groups that will otherwise be less available to counselling. The study further shows that changing the traditional models when working with client symptoms in Primary Health Care will require more than just giving therapeutic interventions a chance but also a change in mindset by all Primary Health Care teams involved, namely Government departments, GPs, managers, administrative staff, etc. Only then will Primary Health Care Counselling “the alternative choice and more often the answer” become an equal beyond the traditional Medical Model.