Counselling might be beneficial for you if you feel that any of the following points apply to you:
- One or more problems is harming the quality of your life and you don’t know how to solve them
- Something has been troubling you over a period of time and you’re having difficulty finding a solution on your own
- You find it hard to talk to friends or family because they are directly involved in the issues
- Things are getting on top of you, and affecting your well-being, for example, causing depression, anxiety or stress
- Issues from the past are having an impact on your day to day life
- Things that are troubling you are having a negative impact on your relationships or work
- Something has happened in your life which has left you floundering or wondering whether life is worth living
- You are functioning poorly at work, in your family, or in your personal life, for no apparent reason
- Communication between you and your partner are difficult or non-existent
- You are excessively troubled by anxiety (fear) or depression (sadness)
- You find it hard to reach out to people around you and develop satisfying relationships
- You repeatedly behave in ways you regret
- You feel willing to talk over your troubles in private with a supportive therapist – even though you may also feel unsure or anxious about the thought of doing so
Counselling can help you reflect and make sense of difficult life events and find a way to move forward. Some of the benefits of counselling are…
- Talking to someone neutral, outside of your immediate situation, can show you a different perspective and help you find a way forward
- Talking with a trained counsellor who is skilled at listening can help you to process difficult thoughts and feelings
- Sharing your worries helps you feel less alone with the problem
- It is dedicated time set aside to confront feelings
- You can gain a better understanding of yourself and a clearer sense of what you want and need, leading to an increased sense of self awareness
- You can practice communicating more clearly and honestly in the safety of the counselling relationship which in turn, can help improve your relationships and build your confidence to communicate outside of the counselling relationship
If you’re still not sure, the best way for things to become clearer is to book an initial session with a counsellor. That way you can find out more about how counselling works and the counsellor can help you decide if it would be useful for your particular situation.
If you still aren’t sure that this would be comfortable, I would recommend you talk to family or friends to discuss this with further. Alternatively, you can complete an online quiz to see if counselling might be something of value to you at this time. For example, a short quiz can be found at https://psychcentral.com/quizzes/therapy-quiz/
If one or more of the following apply, you might not need therapy, or it might not be helpful to you:
- You are considering going into therapy only because someone else thinks you need it
- You feel fine about your way of life and state of mind, even though others may disapprove
- You feel able to solve your own problems without help
- You are currently working with another therapist or practitioner to look at a different area of your life
- You hate the idea of talking your problems over with a therapist
What Counselling is Not
- Counselling is not a time-filling service for those people who are perceived as being ‘crazy’ or ‘difficult’ because they are experiencing problems in coping with personal and emotional issues.
- Counselling is a process which involves skills of caring attention, active listening and prompting to support you explore your issues more fully. A counsellor will work with you and be supportive, but will give little or no direct advice, since the aim is to help you to develop insights into your own problems.
- Counselling is not the magic answer to life’s problems.
- What counselling does provide is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the ways in which positive changes can create a means of exploring difficulties and of working towards resolving personal issues.
- It is not a supportive emotional crutch that enables you to carry on with life without a care in the world.
- Although counselling provides a tool to explore difficult personal issues, counselling should be used as a supplementary support, and this means that anyone attending counselling sessions must be prepared to put in the required time and effort to work towards creating emotional improvements
- Counselling is not an advice-giving service.
- It is a supportive service that allows you to gain understanding of yourself by offering a safe place to encourage self-exploration of your emotional issues, thoughts and experiences.