Asia’s youth’s Identity Crisis and the Role of Counselors

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At present, Asia is having a cultural revolution due to heightened awareness about issues through social media and increased dialogue hence. There is excitement in the minds of people, as well as a lot of cognitive dissonance due to the dissemination of progressive ideas that may contradict the traditional beliefs of their families or even their own selves. Therefore, I feel that the Asian youth is going through an identity crisis. In order to deal with this, there need to be more avenues for counseling, especially in educational settings and an increased flow of professional counselors who don’t impose their personal views on the students. The youth in Asia need people who understand them, listen to their issues and ideas in this changing world, where they are often forced into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) or made to feel guilty for their desire to experiment. They need better support systems, and this can be provided to them if the government and various organizations invest in the training of counselors.

In my experience, often school counselors haven’t played the best role in providing this support. During this conflicting era, they have either tried to impose their traditional views on students without them even seeking any counseling or tried to get out “gossip” about other students from them. Instead of helping the students find themselves, they have tried to decide what their moral principles are, often restricted their growth by increasing their guilt for not going on the traditional path. The lack of understanding, rampant judgement, slut shaming, according to me, hasn’t helped the youth in India, at least. Instead of desiring to meet the counselors to share their problems with, students often dread the thought. They live in the fear of the counselor “calling their parents” or other authority figures, complaining to them about their social media activity. This goes against what counselors are there for in schools for the first place- to listen to a student’s problems and provide support, assistance and help the student find his/her way. Students should feel relieved and maybe even excited at the thought of seeing a counselor, and not the opposite.

Hence there should be special emphasis on non judgement, acceptance and the understanding of subjective values/moral principles during training of counselors in this region.

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