What to expect from counselling
If you are new to counselling, it can be difficult deciding which counsellor is best for you and what to expect from them. This decision can really only be made after spending some time with a counsellor.
From my experience both as a counsellor, supervisor and from training counsellors I wish to share some main points that could inform you.
Counselling is not about changing you or fixing you, but rather finding out what has happened to you that has contributed to your current difficulties and helping you find a way forward.
Qualities of a Counsellor
Professional, Compassionate, Sensitive, Approachable, Non-judgemental, Genuine.
What to expect from Counselling
1. The Relationship
The relationship between you and the counsellor is central.
It is important that you find you can be open and honest in sharing any concerns you have about your relationship with your counsellor and that your counsellor responds appropriately.
Trust is also paramount. A professional, confidential and ethical approach from your counsellor will lay the foundation for trust to build.
Confidentiality and its limitations will be explained to you at the outset.
3. Being listened to, heard and understood
Counsellors listen lots and talk little. You will experience being really listened to without interruption. Small talk and conversational style (as if with a friend) is not conducive to counselling. The counsellor will focus on your story and not talk about him or herself.
The counsellor will be focusing on getting a sense of what it is like to be in your shoes. This will be conveyed to you from the counsellor’s response.
You will know that you have been heard and understood when the counsellor’s response makes sense to you and is accurate to your own experience and feelings.
You will feel respected, accepted and not judged.
5. No Advice
You will not be given advice because the aim is to help you clarify your issues and help you reach the best outcome for you.
You will find that the counsellor is prepared to stay with you and focus on getting to the heart of the matter rather than trying to fix or rescue you.
6. Qualifications etc.
There are many other important considerations in choosing a counsellor such as their qualifications and that they belong to a professional body and follow a code of professional conduct and ethics. Details in www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk and www.bacpregister.org.uk/public.
How will you recognise improvement?
☑ Relief from having shared your problem
☑ Gain insight and understanding re what the problem is really about
☑ Finding a way forward
☑ Experiencing more freedom to live your life free of inhibitions and pretence
☑ Feel better in relation to yourself and with others
☑ Renewed zest for life and motivation
Please note: You may feel worse before you feel better. This means that as you become more aware of your issues you will experience feelings and emotions that can be challenging. This indicates progress and best to bear with this for a time. Expressing feelings helps free you of emotional pain and anguish and leaves space for joy to come in.
I hope that this blog will further inform you and welcome any comments you may have.