Does counselling help? A valid question if you are having negative thoughts, low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, mental health problems, anxiety, and much more. You have struggled along on your own and now think it might be time to call for assistance. But can talking therapy really help you take ownership of your own life?
Thinking about going to therapy is a big step towards improving your mental health. This is a wonderful step – congratulations! Counselling can help you find a positive outlook when things seem dark. Counselling can help you take control of your life.
“I’m going to therapy.” Is not a common statement to be heard in everyday conversation. This is quite a pity as counselling and therapy can be for anyone and is often very helpful. There can be a belief that therapy is for people who are ‘crazy’ or ‘weak’.
This is a faulty belief and can do much damage. The fact of the matter is therapy supports everyday experiences and challenges and the more specific mental, emotional, social difficulties you might have in life.
Counselling can support you if you are facing the following:
Counselling offers anyone, including children and adolescents, a safe space to heal and find out about themselves and how they exist and react in the world. Discovering what is helpful and what is not helpful allows you to reframe how you view interactions in your life and this will help you adjust how you handle them to gain an outcome that benefits you.
Admitting you need help or support is one of the hardest things to do. This is actually your first big step towards supporting yourself. We have been told time and again that asking for help makes us vulnerable. This makes it difficult for us to ask our best friend for help, never mind a stranger.
This is a fault in our society – in fact it takes more strength and power to admit to needing therapy than it does to ignore our pain and struggles. Therapy or counselling is not there to shame you, it is there to build you up, to go on a journey with you to find your best self.
Seeing therapy in this way is quite exciting because the focus is on growth and self-discovery.
The counselling process will shift depending on what you, the client, need. Most counselling processes are client-centered and will look at your needs, preferences, and readiness for change.
Trained mental practitioners, counsellors, and therapists may use different types of therapy or techniques to support you on your journey. Many of these looks at talking therapies, where a therapist will create a safe space for you to talk through your experiences, thoughts, and feelings.
This safe space is accepting and non-judgmental. Therapists don’t tell you what you should have done or what you should do. Rather they reflect your lived reality and help you find more helpful ways of being.
This is done over a variety of sessions. In the beginning of the counselling process, you can ask you therapist what they think the timeframe will be. You also have a say in the duration and direction of your therapy. The therapist is there to walk with you and offer support, you are in control of this process.
In each session you will most likely explore and share how you are coping and what you have experienced that has triggered you. Your therapist may ask questions about past experiences or reflect possible patterns that you may not be aware of.
From this you can work together at accepting and changing what you need to in order to feel better and gain the full benefits of your life. For example, if you are recovering from a traumatic event you might work towards building resiliency, which is how you are able to move forward and live after trauma.
If you are coming to therapy with a partner, then your sessions will happen together to focus on sharing each of your experiences of the relationship. This may happen in individual therapy as well where your therapist might suggest inviting someone (your partner or a family member) into the session for you to talk to in the safe space created with the therapist.
Sometimes during the process, you may feel worse and think that this isn’t working. This is when it is working! Therapy aims at looking into the darkness or difficulties with acceptance and honesty. This is difficult and can make things seem more intense for a while. This is okay, as you learn to feel your feelings and find ways to express them you will find that the intensity lessens, and you will begin to feel better.
Counselling is not a quick fix, it is a process, a process that is continued even after you end sessions with a therapist.
Counselling looks at creating a safe space and a therapeutic alliance, or relationship between you and your therapist. Therefore, it is important to find the right therapist for you.
This safe space allows you to talk and be heard. Your therapist will listen to you and validate your experiences. This is a vital occurrence for all of us – to be heard and witnessed in our own truths. This is where the power of counselling begins.
Then counselling helps you explore difficult feelings in this space and learn how to process them with a more positive outlook or shift your thought processes to reframe something like other people’s points or learn more about a mental health condition.
Psychoeducation is an important part of counselling, and this is about learning new skills, new information, and how to use these to benefit you.
Deciding to see a counsellor is the first step to taking back control of your life. You will discover many new things about yourself and learn more to make sure you reap all the benefits of life.
If you are ready to start your journey, contact us at One Life Counselling and Coaching.