A number of benefits are available from participating in counselling. Psychologists can provide support self-awareness, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for a range of issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, grief, and/or relationships challenges. Many people also find that psychologists can be a tremendous asset to assist with personal growth. Expect a fresh perspective on recent or longstanding problems within a trusting, non-judgemental therapeutic relationship. The benefits you obtain from counselling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from counselling include:
Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
Developing skills for improving your relationships
Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
Improving communications and listening skills
Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need counselling? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you have faced, there is nothing wrong with seeking out professional support when you need it. Counselling is a vehicle to further promote your wellbeing while enhancing self-awareness, and developing coping skills. Counselling provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to manage triggers, redirect damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to counselling and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for seeking counselling. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Others may need support to manage a range of issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and parenting guidance. In short, people seeking counselling are ready to invite positive and meaningful change into their lives.
What is counselling like?
The counselling experience varies depending on the individual and the complexities of their problems. In initial sessions, you can expect to discuss your history and the concern that brought you to counselling. Subsequent sessions will focus on intervention specific to your counselling goals. This may include practice of strategies, journaling, and reflecting between sessions as a way to support momentum of your counselling journey. You may be asked to share any new insights gained by you between counselling sessions. Depending on your needs, counselling can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more complex or longstanding problems. Either way, the frequency of sessions depends on your personal progress toward your goals. It is important to understand that you will get more results from counselling if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of counselling is to remove existing barriers to your wellbeing by integrating new and healthy perspectives, behaviors, and/or decision making.
What about medication vs. counselling?
Research has well established that medication and counselling are viable treatments for long-term mental and emotional stability. Some may achieve sustainable growth, and a greater sense of well-being, with medication or counselling alone. However, in working with your medical doctor you can determine what is best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and counselling may be the right course of action.
Does what we talk about in counselling remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important elements of a healthy and responsible counselling relationship. Meaningful counselling requires a high degree of trust concerning sensitive subject matter that is usually not typically discussed outside a therapy setting. Every psychologist maintains a written copy of the confidential disclosure agreement. You can expect that what you share in sessions will not be discussed with anyone, without your permission, or unless otherwise specified by the professional standards of practice regarding client confidentiality.
"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." - J.R. Sherman