The Counselling Process

Psychology in recent times has gained significantly in terms of acceptance with the general public compared with the perceptions held by them twenty or so years ago. While there may be some resistance in certain people who lack an understanding of the benefits involved, regular counselling has proved to be beneficial for a wide range of issues. There are very few, if any, personal situations that cannot be improved by working with a psychologist trained and qualified in the particular area in question.

The first counselling session is generally an introductory process where the patient meets with their psychologist who establishes with them the purpose of their visit. Through a series of questions, the psychologist gets background information that enables issues to be framed within a context. Working with the patient, some goals are set that may remain the same throughout, but can also change over time as the person removes barriers and sees more possibilities for themselves.

Too Much Too Soon – Unrealistic Expectations

Some people expect too much at the first session and are disappointed when major changes don’t manifest themselves immediately. Issues may seem simple on the surface, but on initial examination, open up more complex problems that have occurred as a result of emotional damage during childhood. These can take many sessions to work through, depending on the severity of the problem. Benefits depend on the person’s willingness to work with their psychologist and to use the tools and techniques given to them outside the treatment room.

Attending counselling is no different from any other endeavour. People get out of counselling what they are willing to put in. When they co-operate with their psychologists and work hard at the process, they gain the maximum benefits and visible change can be quite rapid. Some people are quite surprised at how much better they feel after one or two sessions. Even the process of discussing their problems objectively with someone else can relieve anxiety and generate a feeling of optimism about the future.

Open Communication and Honesty with Emotions Give Best Results

Generally, the people who have the most difficulty at counselling sessions, and who take the longest to see results, are those who struggle to express their feelings and show emotion. They may have come from a culture or family where being open about feelings is considered a sign of weakness and discouraged back in childhood. They may struggle with confronting the people or situations that lead them to this point, or they may not have been encouraged to try new things for fear of failure.

There are as many scenarios that bring people to counselling as there are human emotions. Every session is different and depends on the individual. For the apprehensive, there is one thing to remember about the benefits of counselling. Psychologists are trained professionals who want to help people reach their full potential and live a happy and fulfilling life. Spending a few sessions with someone who will not only listen but give guidance and coaching can be the beginning of something exciting and unexpected.

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