The Politics of Counseling

The Politics of Counseling | Association for Mental Health Professionals

The movie, Captain Phillips, is about the politics of counseling. Actually, it's about the hijacking of a cargo ship by Somali pirates but I'll make the connection in a minute. In an early scene the crew has just survived an aborted attempt by incompetent pirates to catch and board the ship. The rattled crew is huddled in a breakroom where one of them tells the Captain, "they'll be back", to which Phillips reassuringly responds that if that occurs then "we'll deal with it as we just did" and all will be fine.

"Not My Job" Doesn't Work With Captains or Pirates

The crewmember says that he's a union guy and didn't sign on "to be the Navy" and is quickly backed up by a few more of his union buddies. The now agitated Captain Phillips and his 1st Mate remind them repeatedly that they willfully signed on for the trip which they knew passed through known pirate infested waters, but that does little to quell the situational denial.

The Captain closes the scene with a stark assessment of the situation saying "there are at least 5 different pirate groups operating in these waters. If we head north 100 miles to evade the group we just encountered then we'll run into another group. If we head east 200 miles we'll run into another, so where do we go? If you want off this ship then come to the bridge and sign the papers and we'll put you on the first plane back to the States,...when we get to Mombasa!"

Point is that the trip they freely signed up for came with a lot of other risk they either weren't told about or chose to ignore but cannot be ignored. It must be dealt with head-on. That's the politics of shipping in the Indian Ocean near Somalia.

The Politics of Counseling

The counseling profession is a lot like that scene, I think. We signed up to help people, then go home and feed the cat.

No one said anything about the slow-drip takeover of our profession through a far-left ideology. Not a word was mentioned about having to re-train poorly prepared graduate students as a result. No one told me about the need to repeatedly present comments to the licensing boards to protect our ethics from our boards. I heard nothing about having to fight back against affirming standards of care that are mind-numbing in their incompetence and irrationality. There's more but that is the politics of the counseling profession today. Those risks exist and regardless of how you became aware of them they are very real and they will affect you.

We did a post late last year in which we discussed how being uncomfortable being confronted on pre-conceived ideas about our profession is not the same thing as being "too political". Occasionally we'll hear from a counselor who's being confronted (for the first time?) with the idea that their chosen profession isn't the neutral and isolated, ideological island they want it to be. Or that fighting back against attacks on our profession is somehow unprofessional. We get that and how uncomfortable it can be, but the pirates are still out there and must be dealt with!


Today's post was going to be about how I believe the tide is turning against the left's implementation of their Marxist views but I'll save that for next week. I wanted to address the "the politics of counseling" before I jumped in.

AMHP exists because we grew tired of pretending that academia and the traditional professional organizations reflected our morals and ethics, or that anyone was even listening. We're devoted to the protection of our professional code of ethics as defined by the state of Texas, our God-given rights and liberties as outlined in the US Constitution, and a body of GASC that doesn't sacrifice those same beliefs, morals, and liberties. We'll make no apologies for it nor will we be neutered into a position of silence because there is no such thing as a counseling profession without the politics that forms it.

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About the Author

The Politics of Counseling | Association for Mental Health ProfessionalsPhillip's background has blessed him with a variety of interests, skills, and tools to get things done. He spent 25 years in the printing and marketing industry before meeting Kathleen Mills in 2015. They quickly figured out that they made a pretty good business team and, owing to Kathleen's story, embarked upon a mission that would see the creation of and eventually the Association for Mental Health Professionals.

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