Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues.
A few people have asked me “what is counselling?” and “what happens in a session?”. So I thought I would write about my experiences with counselling to answer the questions that some people might be afraid to ask.
First of all if you are thinking about getting counselling then good for you. You have already recognised that something is not quite right and you want to fix it. If you think counselling is for the weak or the ill how wrong you are. If someone wants to work on themselves in order to better themselves they are so strong. Counselling only makes you stronger – FACT.
Over the past five years I have had three courses of counselling sessions all with varying degrees of success. On the whole I am an advocate for counselling. For me, talking about my thoughts helps me to process things, it is a way of housekeeping if you like. To harness my anxiety I use of routine and order. Counselling has allowed me to put things in order.
How to Find a Counsellor
I have accessed counselling through both the NHS and the private sector. If I am honest, where you source a counsellor from doesn’t determine how good they are. It is all about whether you can trust them or not. With the NHS counselling is free which does help. However, the waiting time for counsellors on the NHS can be six weeks. Talk to your doctor they will have options for you.
Finding a counsellor you connect with and trust isn’t always easy. If you don’t click with the first counsellor don’t be afraid to ask to see someone else. You have to trust your counsellor in order to tell them everything and work through it together. On the whole I have been very lucky with counsellors I have seen. However, there was one counsellor who just didn’t get me. I really struggled to value what she said as I didn’t trust or respect her. This meant that I didn’t challenge my thoughts or feelings so saw no improvement. Like I said it is important to find a counsellor you trust. However, counsellors that I have trusted have helped me. They have helped me to develop personally and taught me copying mechanisms I still use.
The Relationship You Build
I have found that during counselling you build a relationship with the counsellor. This relationship is like no other relationship you will have in your life. It is completely selfish. To me, if I unload all of my problems on to another person I worry about how it will affect them, how they will view me and I don’t want to burden them as they have their own problems. However, with a counsellor it is completely selfish; you can talk about yourself for a full hour and download all of your problems. At no point do you have to ask how they are, listen to their problems or worry about how they will deal with what you tell them. It is their job to listen to you and only you.
After they have listened, they often challenge your way of thinking and offer you a different viewpoint. This is where the hard work comes in. I will admit that after a counselling session I would be knackered and quiet. My brain would be working through everything from the session. If a friend or loved one doesn’t talk about their session with you don’t feel pushed away they are working through it themselves first. In time they will share parts of their session with you I promise.
Counselling isn’t for everyone sometimes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy may work better. It really does depend on the person. But, as the old age saying goes “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with counselling so please comment if you would like to share them.