For one of my other counseling classes, I had the opportunity to read a journal article by Mich Cooper, called “Welcoming the Other: Actualising the humanistic ethic at the core of counselling psychology practice.” In this article, Cooper writes from the viewpoint of the humanistic philosophy, in which the development of mankind becomes the chief goal of the counseling psychology. Cooper then develops the ethics and values of the humanist counseling psychologist and how these should be developed in the future.
One of the things that Cooper noted was how optimistic were his goals for the future of counseling psychology. In particular, I have to agree with Cooper's analysis, as counseling done from the humanistic perspective only deals with the material complexities of mankind. Thinking back through history, I think of all the times in which man looking upon himself was overly optimistic. This idea was rampant amongst Western thought, during the beginning of the 1900's, as individuals were overly optimistic with the ability of mankind to progress into its “glorious” future. This was quickly shut down by World War I, in which the true nastiness of mankind was brought into fruition. Or the Crystal Palace, which was built in England to show off the “glory” (talent, craft, skill) of the world, which ended up catching on fire. Or even more famous, The Titanic, the first ship that mankind made that not even God could sink. Ultimately, all of these examples demonstrate the futility in thinking that man, alone, has an optimistic growth and future. So why would counseling psychology be any different? How can counseling psychologist treat the whole being (material and immaterial), if they remove the only effective tool in treating the immaterial (The Scriptures)?