Counselling Difficulties: One of the most difficult steps in counselling occurs before you even see a counsellor for the first time. Deciding to seek counselling is the first step in change. Once this decision has been made, the mechanics for change have been set in motion. In the process of changing the way you think, feel, or behave, you usually must try out new ways of doing things. This can make you anxious or frustrated. Also, in the course of counselling, you may come to realise that things you once thought of only in a positive or negative way you may see a bit differently. With commitment and practice, you will find that you can stretch your limits and find new and exciting aspects of yourself.
What are your responsibilities in counselling?
Your main responsibilities in counselling are to attend your scheduled sessions regularly, talk about what is bothering you as openly and honestly as you can and complete any tasks or ‘homework’ assignments you may be asked to do. You are expected to let your counsellor know if you are unable to make it to a session.
Most counselling will require you to try something new or a “different approach”. Another thing your counsellor will expect from you is a willingness to be willing to experiment and try things without jumping to conclusions. You are also expected to let your counsellor know when your problems have been solved as well as let your counsellor know if you don’t feel like you’re making any progress. This latter point is most important: your counsellor is most interested in your benefit from counselling.
What you can expect from your counsellor
You can expect someone who is interested in listening to your concerns and in helping you develop a better understanding of them so that you may deal with them more easily and effectively. Your counsellor will take you seriously and be willing to openly discuss anything you wish to discuss. Expect your counsellor to focus the session on you and not on others. Because counsellors have different beliefs about how people change, they differ on how much talking they do in sessions, whether they ask you to do ‘homework’ and their focus of discussion.
If you have any questions about what is going on, by all means, ask. Counsellors have no ‘magical’ skills or knowledge and will be unable to solve your problems directly for you. Your counsellor will want to work with you, but won’t do for you, what you are capable of doing for yourself. Except under unusual circumstances, your counsellor will maintain strict confidentiality about you and will openly discuss this with you.
Tips on how to benefit from counselling
Be ready to focus on a specific problem or issue. Be prepared for your sessions. Attend your sessions and take an active part in them. Complete (or at least attempt) any “homework”. Tell your counsellor if you don’t think you’re being helped.