Asian Journal of Counselling



Mental Health Issues Confronting Asians in the Changing World

1993.第2卷第2期(Vol. 2 No. 2).pp. 61–69

 

Mental Health Issues Confronting Asians in the Changing World

在變遷世界中亞洲人所面對的心理衛生論題

Stanley SUE

Abstract

The world is rapidly changing. Increased communications, exposure to other cultures through the mass media, and growing business, educational, and social contacts between different societies have created a much smaller and more interactive world. These changes have had a major impact on all professions and fields. In this paper, the author discusses contemporary issues confronting counselors and mental health professionals. The following points are made: First, human beings all experience mental health problems. Research on mental health have been conducted in all parts of Asia. Some research findings from different societies will be presented. Despite methodological and conceptual differences in the investigations, there is no question that mental health problems affect significant portions of the populations of different Asian societies. What is also clear is that Asians exhibit differences in symptom patterns, culture bound syndromes, and distribution of mental disorders. Second, the ways of conceptualizing and explaining mental health problems appear to vary according to culture. In many Asian societies, issues of shame and stigma, loss of face, social orientation, mind-body interactions, and spiritual notions are important to consider in attributions concerning mental health. Unfortunately, Asian indigenous concepts are often overshadowed by Western views and approaches. Third, cultural factors affect the use of prevention and treatment tactics. Although formal counseling and psychotherapy services are often based on Western forms of treatment, the specific forms of treatment have varied across different Asian societies. This raises the issue of whether there are universally effective forms of treatment or universally beneficial therapeutic processes. Fourth, the priority given to mental health and counseling varies in different societies. Despite growing awareness of the importance of mental health, counseling and mental health treatment are still accorded low priority in many societies. These points are used to argue that the role of counselors should be expanded and strengthened. Counselors should (1) engage in public education concerning mental health and the value of counseling, (2) find means of integrating and articulating Asian-indigenous and Western concepts and methods, (3) encourage and engage in research concerning mental health and treatment effectiveness, and (4) strengthen the coalition of counselors across Asian countries.

摘要

世界正處劇變:頻繁的通訊,大眾傳媒所造成的跨文化接觸,以及區域間之商業、教育和社會交流。結果:世界縮小了,而人際互動卻增多了。這些轉變對所有專業和科學已產生重大的影響。本文將探討輔導及心理衛生專業人員面對之當代論題。其要點如下:

第一,人類俱經歷心理衛生問題。在亞洲各地均有心理衛生研究。我會報導一些不同地區的結果。雖然這些研究在方法與概念上有差異,毫無疑問,這些心理健康問題對亞洲各國相當數目之居民皆有影響。再者,亞洲人之間亦顯示在病癥的形態,文化局限的症候群,與精神病的分佈上有分別。

第二,對心理衛生的理解和解釋似乎是因文化而異,在不同的亞洲社會之心理衛生歸因,要鄭重考慮的包括羞愧恥辱,面子問題,社會取向,身心互動,和靈性觀念。可惜的是亞洲固有的理念往往被西方的觀點和立場遮蔽。

第三,文化因素能影響預防與治療策略之運用。雖然正式的輔導和心理治療服務常基於西方的模式,特殊的治療卻在亞洲各地以不同形態出現。這引發出一個論題,就是有否普世性的有效治療方法或全人類均適用之治療過程。

第四,每個社會紿予心理衛生與輔導不同的優先地位。雖然心理衛生的醒覺一般已提高,但是在很多地區輔導及心理治療仍不獲重視。

上述各項論述乃用來支持一個重點:輔導者的角色應該擴大和加強。輔導者應該:(1)參與公共教育以增加對心理衛生和輔導價值之認識;(2)尋找途徑來表達並統合亞洲固有的與西方的概念和方法;(3)鼓勵及進行有關心理健康和治療果效之研究;與(4)加強亞洲各地輔導人員的聯繁。