Counselling can be a very helpful experience for many people. It can help you to understand yourself better. When clients start counselling they may be unsure about what to expect and may say things like:
“I want you to tell me what to do”
“I don’t know what to say”
“You probably think I’m silly”
“This sounds really bad but……….”
“How do I know that you won’t tell anyone else about me?”
“I keep crying and I don’t know why”
“I’m stuck and don’t know what to do”
“I’m usless. Nothing is right in my life”
If you recognise any of the above then it might help to realise that you are not alone!
Counsellors have special training and skills to help people who are experiencing difficulties. It is not easy to become a qualified Counsellor. It requires a lot of study and personal development. This means that when you speak to a Counsellor you can feel confident that the Counsellor has been trained to listen to you and will try to understand things from your perspective. Often clients come to counselling because when they try to talk to family and friends they are given advice or judged. Worse still, the family member or friend may ‘hijack’ the conversation and say something like “well if you think that’s bad wait until you hear what happened to me” or “you should pull yourself together”. Your Counsellor will not behave like this but will work with you to explore your experience and try to help you to raise your awareness of your feelings, thoughts and behaviour. You do not have to worry about your Counsellor being upset or bored by whatever you have to say. It is necessary for all counsellors to receive clinical supervision for their work and any issues which the Counsellor needs some support or guidance on are discussed in supervision.
Counselling is a confidential relationship and your Counsellor will discuss the exceptions to this which are normally:
If you disclose a child protection issue.
If you disclose that you intend to harm yourself or someone else.
If you disclose information about a serious crime.
Counsellors do discuss their work in supervision. This is done confidentially.
Fundamentally counselling is about change. This may mean talking through some losses, for example bereavement, divorce, redundancy or it may mean changing behaviour in some way, for example improving our relationships with others, changing our relationship with food, learning how to be assertive. Counselling is also about learning how to understand ourselves and our feelings. When we understand ourselves and recognise the triggers to feeling a certain way then this may help to recognise that we have choices.
Copyright Christine Bonsmann. All rights reserved.