How do you know if personal counselling is for you? Things may have changed in your life or certain events or experiences may have affected your journey in a significant way. For example, you may have experienced the loss of a loved one, the loss of your job, or you may have lost direction with your own life. Sometimes things have changed for you and you may require support from a professional to get yourself back on track and to refocus on implementing positive change and solving challenges and dilemmas in your own life. Sometimes you may need someone neutral who you can trust to talk too knowing that it’s kept confidential and that you are supported within the safety of a therapeutic environment. There are other times when life happens and things happen to us beyond our control. When life happens and we are affected by experiences beyond our control what are the options and how do we help ourselves cope, manage and move beyond these challenges? One option is to address the issues and challenges at hand by engaging in a personal counselling experience with a registered professional counsellor. If you’re not sure if personal counselling is for you I would encourage you to read ahead and then ask yourself, where you’re at on your journey with your own emotional wellness. If you find that personal counselling is something you may be considering or something you may need to implement, I would encourage you to ask for what you need and allow a trained professional to journey with you in your healing. So, what is counselling and what does this process look like and what do you need to know to be fully informed of the counselling process and what your responsibilities are to your own emotional wellness and healing. It is important to show up for yourself, be honest, willing, teachable and open-minded.
What is Counselling?
Counselling involves the development of a therapeutic relationship that evolves over time between the client and the trained professional that specifically focuses on the concerns, difficulties and challenges of the client. It is a process and an experience in which the client has the opportunity to improve their understanding of the therapeutic process. This includes developing a new conscious understanding in regards to their patterns of thought, feelings, behavior and how this way of living can be both problematic and destructive if left to run rampant and go unaddressed in their lives. The counselling process allows the individual the opportunity to examine the inner process and to tap into the necessary resources that can help with enhancing their lives and interpersonal relationships. It’s important to remember that counselling is a collaborative effort (experience) as it involves both the counsellor and the client working together toward a common goal to enhance the quality of the client’s life.
Who Needs Counselling?
A large number of people in our society will benefit from the counselling experience at some point in their lives. Individuals who are seeking counselling services are faced with normal developmental, life changing and life altering concerns and difficulties that eventually need to be addressed for a better quality of life. These individuals may struggle with managing stress, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, poor self esteem, relationship problems, identity concerns, loneliness, addictions and body image
issues. These are only a few of the issues that need to be addressed through engaging in the counselling process.
How Do I know if I Need Counselling?
It may be appropriate timing if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Being emotionally activated
- Feeling helpless and hopeless
- Persistent and chronic worry
- Prolonged sadness
- Personal issues interfering with your sleep, eating habits, concentration, relationships and quality of life
- Thoughts of suicide or wanting to harm yourself
- Increased irritability, mood swings, angry outbursts and out of control emotions
- Loss of control over your life, feeling powerless, having no meaning or purpose
- Confusion, scattered and experiencing difficulty making decisions
- Life transitions that are out of our control
- Wanting to give up, lost all zest or interest in life
- At a crossroads and looking for new direction with your life
Do I Need to See a Counsellor?
Seeking the advice, perspective and support of a professional counsellor/therapist can be a wise move and it helps the individual to rebuild trust within themselves to help strengthen their confidence and their belief in themselves again. You might want to consider contacting a professional counsellor in your area if you are experiencing physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.
Fatigue, low energy, insomnia, sleeping too much, sleeping too little, under activity (active), headaches, stress, nightmares, exhaustion, startled reactions, hyperactivity, gastrointestinal issues (diarrhea)
Poor concentration, an inability to problem solve, inability to make decisions, memory difficulties, flashbacks, negative and distorted thinking, an inability to think clearly or to attach importance to anything.
Any experiencing of fear, guilt, anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, emotional numbing, being overly sensitive, having violent fantasies, feeling powerless and helpless, and amnesia if present
If you or someone you know is experiencing any or all of the symptoms listed above I would encourage you to consider counselling and seek out a professional counsellor in your area for further exploration and ongoing support and treatment.
How Can I Best Benefit from the Counselling Experience?
As a client there are certain steps you can take to help make your counselling experience more beneficial and meaningful to you. I recommend the following:
- Be proactive by attending all sessions and by arriving on time so you can benefit the most from your counselling experience.
- Be specific about the concerns you have that have led you to seeking counselling.
- Be willing to work with your counsellor in establishing goals.
- Since you are your own expert…give thought to what it is that you would like to discuss during your sessions.
- Be willing and open-minded to exploring new behaviors both within and outside of your sessions.
- Always check your level of commitment for completing assigned therapeutic homework and readings.
- Be proactive in discussing your ongoing progress and work with your counsellor to modify and alter any goals that have been set for your progress.
- Always remember to communicate with your counsellor especially when the process is not helpful to you and your healing process.
- Remember to be gentle with yourself as the healing journey is a process and it takes time to evolve and change.