Counseling – What is it?
Counseling is a way for people to discuss their emotional distresses and complex feelings with a professional counselor in a safe and confidential environment. It provides a means to find time to talk about what is troubling you and find a solution to resolve these emotional dilemmas. It doesn’t just cover mental health. Other specialist areas include bereavement, educational, family, rehabilitation, and substance abuse.
Keep in mind that the role of a counselor is not to direct you on what to do or make decisions for you, but they are there to help you make conscious choices about your life. They can only provide ways and encourage to have a positive outlook on your life.
Counseling Vs Talk Therapy – What is the difference?
Although counseling and talk therapy are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Both terms come under the same umbrella of "talking therapies" and have many similarities, but they also differ in some respects.
Counseling is more concerned with the issue at hand. This therapy can help you talk about and deal with the present problem. Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, on the other hand, uses a much deeper approach. Psychotherapists are professionals who are more concerned with your past experiences and how these experiences are negatively impacting your present life. Talk therapy provides a solution by changing your learned behavioural patterns and improving your quality of life.
What are the benefits of Counseling?
It provides a safe environment to discuss your troubling feelings and emotions or find a way to resolve a conflict which you cannot discuss with a friend or family.
A therapist can help you if you are struggling with one of the following conditions:
Addictions and substance abuse
Grief or loss
Any medical illness
Low confidence and self-esteem
Apart from helping you with these conditions it can make your life better by:
Improving your interpersonal skills
Enhancing your communication skills
Teaching you healthy coping mechanisms
Boosting your self-esteem and confidence
Improving your decision-making power
What should I expect from a Counseling session?
Deciding to seek Counseling is not an easy decision for most people. The thought of opening up to someone about your emotional pain is not very pleasant and comforting. Knowing what to expect in your first session can help you with anxiety.
A session can last for about an hour. Your therapist or counsellor will start by asking questions relevant to your situation. They might ask you why are you seeking Counseling? What concerns would you like to work on? What are your expectations from these sessions? They will also talk about the symptoms you are currently experiencing. Try to be as open as possible and describe your feelings in detail.
It is common for the initial sessions to resurface the painful feelings and make you feel even more down than before, but this is all a normal part of the process. As you progress with your sessions, try to build a trust-based relationship with your counsellor. The counsellor is there for you to move forward to a better life by making healthy lifestyle choices.
It is worth knowing that everything you say during these sessions is confidential, and your counsellor is bound to keep it between you two.
Also, remember that counseling is not a quick solution, and the number of sessions needed to resolve the problem varies individually.
Like other therapies, counseling is a way of tapping into your internal feelings and emotions and finding a better way to cope with them. By talking about these conflicting emotions with another trustable individual, it helps you steer in the right direction and improve your quality of life.
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