Questions about Counselling…

There are many misunderstandings about counselling and what it entails. Often  psychological jargon is used which can leave people even more confused. With this in mind I have put together some straight forward answers to questions I have often been asked.

What is counselling?

Counselling, therapy or psychotherapy is the process of meeting with a therapist to help you resolve problematic behaviors, beliefs & feelings or simply improve your quality of life. Therapy offers you a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything you may feel is confusing or painful. Counselling allows you to talk with someone who is trained to support and understand you through a therapeutic relationship.

How can talking about it help me?

We all know instinctively on some level that talking through things with someone supportive that we trust can help us. Counselling gives you the space to air troubling thoughts or feelings without having to worry about the response you might receive. This allows  you the freedom to better understand yourself, relationships with others and gain perspective on your life. Counsellors are trained to help increase your self-awareness, bringing issues, beliefs or themes in your life into your awareness so that you may better understand them or act upon them.

Does going to counselling mean there is something wrong with me?

Believing that people who go to therapy are in some way “crazy” or “weak” is wrong. Counselling is accessed everyday by people seeking support with everyday problems. Whether it’s painful feelings they do not understand, anxiety, stress, relationship problems or traumatic events. You will not be treated as if you are ill, but rather as someone who is going through a difficult period. If you feel particularly worried about being judged by yourself or others, Counselling is very helpful in freeing you from these thoughts.

How can you be an expert on my life?

The first and most important thing to say is that I am not an expert on your life. This question is a common misunderstanding of the purpose of therapy. Counselling is not about telling you how to live your life, it is about helping you understand what is happening in your life. Counselling should support you in making your own decisions based on how you feel rather than advice. As a result you will become more in touch with your own needs and more in control of your own life.

What do I talk about?

The simple answer to this is whatever you feel like talking about. It might be something that happened that week, your relationship, life events, family or friends or how you feel at that moment. You should feel free to talk openly about whatever you feel. Your Counsellor will ensure that your sessions remain therapeutic by helping you explore whatever you bring. It is however important that you take personal responsibility for being honest in therapy, as the more honest you are the more effectively you can work together.

What else can counselling do for me?

Counselling is also a very effective method of promoting personal growth and quality of life. Counselling can help improve your self-esteem, relationships, confidence in making decisions and give you clarity on your own life direction.  Whilst it’s important to understand Counselling can be very challenging, many people ultimately feel empowered by Therapy and relish the journey of becoming more self-aware and improving relationships with others.

Will I feel better straight away?

Everyone’s experience of Counselling is different but it is important to be realistic about your expectations. Whilst people can and do experience quick improvements in well-being, it is more common for a positive shift to become noticeable after a period of sessions.   Most importantly you should remember that you are in control of your therapy and you should feel comfortable talking about your progress or frustrations, this in itself can be an important part of therapy.

What if I start to feel worse?

It is important to understand that if you are exploring feelings or events you may feel worse in the short term before you feel better. This is often a natural part of dealing with difficult changes, processing feelings and challenging a way we have learnt to be. If this happens you should always tell your Counsellor. It is crucial that you are honest with your feelings and fears in Counselling so that you can receive the support you need.

Can you guarantee I will get better?

Counselling is not a universal solution, I cannot guarantee this and should any Counsellor or Therapist offer you such a promise, I would warn that this is not ethical practice. What I can say is that I am absolutely committed to helping and supporting you to move forwards, in a confidential, safe environment where we can work together to overcome whatever you may bring.

If you would like to speak to me or make a low-cost appointment to see how you feel about counselling, don’t hesitate to contact me. You may also find my Case Studies page helpful. I look forward to being a part of your journey.

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