Recently I have been thinking about how global and environmental influences affect the operation of social services around the world. One of the important factors, without doubt, on both national and international level, is the structure of the policy established in each country or internationally. For example, if a country want to achieve the goal of providing its people with affordable or even free services and enhance its social welfare (which includes therapeutic center that provides counseling), it has to carefully consider how much budget would be allocated to that sector, usually categorized under the public health domain. The decision of the financial arrangement is of course closely related with how politics come into play. Often times, different parties within the country might have different plans regarding the allocation of money to public health and the amount of coverage the government can be responsible of. These plans are different in that they represent the perspective of different parties, and cater to different group in the national population. If a party wins the election, certain people would receive the benefits, while others might not.
Speaking of increasing funding in public health and subsequently therapeutic services, it is appealing to a large part of the population that these services are free and individuals are guaranteed service coverage for the whole duration of his/her life (although this might be subject to future change). This might mean that higher amount of funds should be obtained in other ways, including taxing, etc. However, the effort that government puts into strengthen the public health sector is definitely necessary and crucial. If social and therapeutic services become unaffordable or unavailable to most people, then they will be suffer with problems that impact their lives and diminish their capacities in social and physical functioning, which actually in turn increases the burden of government by augmenting the cost to address the emerging problems of impaired individual well-being in the society.
Another interesting thing that I would like to discuss about is relevant with the international standard of diagnostic criteria and treatment guidelines. There aren’t an absolute criteria international wise that all country follow carefully, even the ICD (International classification of diseases) is only regularly considered as a reference on which some research and practices are based. Back in the United States, I was used to the routine of psychologists/therapeutists giving a patient a diagnosis based on DSM, and subsequently carry out treatment that characterized as either cognitive-behavioral, behavioral, interpersonal, etc. However, from what I learned here, apparently the approach of psychoanalysis is more common and patient and professional establish a different rapport. Before I was jokingly expressing the idea that French people tend to be more philosophical, but indeed the discrepancies in how different cultures construct mental images and convey feelings seem to be having significant influences in how professionals address the psychological problems emerging within an individual.