Putting the "P's" back in psychology

philosophy, people, personal growth

Belinda Siew Luan Khong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


With the increasing cost of managing mental health care in many countries, psychologists have tended to look at pharmacology to help people deal with various psychological concerns. This article explores the need for psychology to put the "P's" back into the therapeutic enterprise - philosophy, people and personal growth. It examines how the ideas of Heidegger and the teachings of the Buddha afford practitioners an important philosophical foundation for understanding their roles as therapists and their approach to therapy. The article also dicusses how therapists can facilitate clients in their personal growth by offering anticipatory rather than intervening care, and relating to clients as fellow human beings. While psychology based on the medical model may be efficacious in alleviating more serious symptoms and reducing the individual's discomfort in the short-term, it is argued that it is less effective in helping individuals deal with their feelings of "dis-ease" in the long term. By putting philosophy, people and personal growth back into psychology, practitioners could resume their unique role as a co-journeyer in individual lives and facilitate people's experiences of the physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions of their existence holistically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-84
Number of pages18
JournalCounselling and spirituality
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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