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The rise of Third-Wave therapy

  • Comments: 9
  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a noticeable increase in mental health awareness, accompanied by a surge in prevention and education programs across urban and rural areas in Kenya.

This surge likely fueled a demand for accessible, high-quality, and cost-effective competency-based interventions.

Traditionally, psychotherapy leaned heavily on psychoanalysis pioneered by Sigmund Freud, focusing on exploring unconscious thoughts and emotions underlying anxieties and undesirable behaviors, often depicted in movies, television shows, and cartoons with patients lying on a couch.

However, newer contemporary approaches, rooted in cognitive and behavioral techniques, have gained popularity for their time-limited, situation-specific nature and measurable progress.

In these approaches, clients actively participate in setting therapy agendas, goals, and objectives, gradually acquiring critical skills monitored session by session.

Examples of such approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy ( ACT), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy ( MBCT), compassion-focused therapy (CFT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and behavioral activation (BA)

These approaches argue that psychiatric and physical health care, individual, couples, family, expressive art, and group therapies are increasingly prevalent in Kenyan society.

A persistent challenge is the shortage of mental health professionals to meet the growing demand for services, prompting therapists to collaborate to address this issue and contemplate the future challenges of urban living and coping with daily stressors and anxieties.

The absence of a centralized database listing all counselors and psychologists in Kenya, along with the lack of an active third-wave CBT association, hinders efforts to identify practitioners of third-wave approaches and develop nationwide replication programs to impart life-coping skills.

Despite these obstacles, progress is underway, with a regulatory board working to register, license and oversee all counselors and psychologists in Kenya, aiming to establish a system for continuous care through continuous evaluations and referrals.

Also, this will map out clinical psychologists and other professionals who screen , assess, and manage clients or patients and refer to allied  professionals for further evaluation and treatment. Becoming a competent psychologist is a lengthy, demanding, and costly journey, with sessions typically lasting a minimum of 45 minutes.

Adapting universal therapeutic practices to the African cultural context requires collaboration with seasoned professionals, as cultural nuances may influence client engagement and treatment adherence.

Understanding cultural complexities is crucial for effective implementation of third-wave therapeutic interventions, requiring creativity, innovation, and awareness of how perceptions and beliefs shape outcomes.

What works well in one cultural group may not translate seamlessly to another, given Kenya’s diverse ethnic landscape with 47 tribes, each with its own customs and beliefs.

Thus, effective dissemination and application of newer therapies necessitate the involvement of relevant stakeholders in the process.

Author: cbtkeadmin

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