Questions about Counselling…

There are many misunderstandings about counselling and what it involves.  I’ve put together some answers to try and simplify and explain what Counselling is really about .

What is counselling?

Counselling, therapy or psychotherapy is essentially meeting a therapist who is trained to actively listen to what is going on for you without any judgements. Therapy offers you a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything you may feel is confusing or painful.

How can talking about it help me?

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 and space to better understand yourself, relationships with others and gain some perspective on your life without being directed or given advice that may not fit for you. 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 you do not understand, anxiety, abuse, 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 time. 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?

I am not an expert on your life, however I am an expert in helping to to understand your own 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. My role is to support you in making your own decisions by working through how you feel rather than giving advice from my perspective. 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. I will ensure that your sessions remain therapeutic by helping you explore whatever you bring. Its important that we are both as honest as possible in therapy, as the more honest we are the more effectively we 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 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. Many people experience an immediate relief in talking about something they have been carrying around for some time. However, due to the nature of what you may be talking about it is also possible that you will be bringing up difficult feelings or experiences and a positive shift may become more 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 is part of the process.

What if I start to feel worse?

If you are exploring painful feelings or events its possible 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 you 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.  I’m here for you.

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