Monday, 9 December 2013

Non Directive Counselling (again)

You can tell an article is good (and well-researched, and generally worthy of approval) when it quotes this blog (at least, if it does so approvingly!)

However, this one (by Andrew, who also blogs at CTS Reviews) also set me thinking of the other side of the coin: the claim by abortion providers to offer non-directional counselling (a claim the article mentions but does not delve into).

For Rogers' method to work (and I think almost any therapeutic counselling, the bogus claims of NLP notwithstanding) requires several sessions and the passage of time between them.  Clearly, in the context of a single 'counselling' session in an abortion clinic, that is not available.

Moreover, the setting and context are not conducive to a non-directive approach, as both the woman and the counsellor enter the session with clear assumptions of the likely outcome, and in the case of the counsellor, a probable bias in favour of a particular outcome (or she would not be working for an abortion provider).  To put that at its mildest, that will be a view that abortion is a potential good solution for the woman.

The issue of the urgency of the decision is a real problem: people's reaction to unwanted change is complex and unfolds over time: disbelief, shock, anger, denial, and hopelessness are all reactions that arise - and can be worked through over time. We all know that many an unwanted pregnancy has resulted in many a much-loved child.  A decision made in a hurry may often be repented later.

For all the questioning of Life's policy in the article, it should be noted in their favour that they will always make time to support a woman through this storm of emotional responses:  as much time and as many sessions as a woman wants. That is a claim the abortion-providers certainly cannot make.

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