Are you on the fence? A short explanation of counselling
Are you on the fence about counselling? Not sure what the fuss is about? How can talking to a stranger make anything better? Well this short piece is to perhaps help you make up your mind.
The bottom line is, that counselling can be whatever you need it to be. There is no expert out there that is going to wipe away your problems with a wand. No matter how many ‘special techniques’ they may say they have. There is only one expert on your problems in the counselling room and that is you! And yet if you feel you are ready, to change something, to offload your worries or to simply have someone who will listen to you, a counsellor can offer expertise in ‘listening’.
We all think we know how to listen but we don’t really. We usually listen to answer, listen to react, listen to respond or listen to get information that may be helpful to us. But we hardly ever just listen to listen. We almost never listen purely for the benefit of the speaker. And that is what a counsellor does best.
And to have someone really listen to you and show no judgement whatsoever, can be a very powerful experience. Try it! So as long as you feel your counsellor is really listening to you, not interrupting or offering too many solutions of their own and as long as you do not feel judged in any way by your counsellor, then they are probably doing a good job and you will probably feel the benefit.
Counselling can be just that or it can be much more. But that depends on whether you need more. Different theoretical models of counselling can offer different frameworks to look at how you got to be the person you are today. They can also offer various techniques and ways to change or modify the way you think and behave. Counsellors may help you to learn a new skill like mindfulness, that can help you learn to relax your mind and stay in the present more, or they may help you keep up the motivation to set goals and meet them, and perhaps offer a little advice on what kind of goals are more likely to be met. But the individual goals must be yours and come from you and these are only some examples of the ways that a counsellor may be able to help.
So if you are on the fence, short term counselling can be a good start to help you make up your mind. It will always be your free will to attend as a counsellor will always work toward your autonomy, but for more long lasting changes or benefit you may need to attend for longer. Even one session can help you understand the benefits and make up your mind. Good luck!
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