The core of counseling (Part 2)

Counseling is a relationship of trust, which gives you the opportunity to talk with a trained professional, who can offer support, and new perspectives on your issues. It is designed to give you the time, space and the encouragement you need to explore and understand the issues you’re faced with.

Confidentiality is paramount in counseling and professional counselors will usually explain their policy on confidentiality, at the onset of the counseling. They may however, be required by law to disclose information if they believe there is a risk to life.

It’s imperative to understand that, counseling is a process (meaning it takes time), where the counselor can help the client explore and understand issues, to enable you cope. The counselor will respect you and treat your concerns with sensitivity and most importantly, confidentiality. It is also worth noting that, counseling is a collaborative effort between a counselor and the client. The client could either be an individual, a couple, family or group of people with similar needs.

At this point let me clarify that, in counseling the counselor uses “talk therapy”, this means that counselors are NOT licensed to use or prescribe medications during counseling. I bet the question on your mind at this juncture is, does counseling help?

YES, but as like any other profession, some counselors may be ineffective and perhaps even harmful. Effective counselors are characterized by personalities that radiate sincerity, understanding, compassion, and the ability to confront in genuine and constructive manner.

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The counseling process is one of self-discovery, which can help people learn how to deal more effectively with situations in their lives. The counseling process improves your self-knowledge, well-being, health and gives you clarity of mind. It offers the opportunity to improve your life and comes with an overall feeling of positive change that manifests into a more fulfilling and productive life.

When thoughts are disorganized, it can be challenging to make good choices, which leads to an unhappy and frustrated life. It’s worthy to note at this point that Counseling is a collaborative effort between the counselor & the client. Together both work to develop a realistic plan to help the client move forward & grow to achieve the results they are looking for.

Many people report a significant reduction in their stress levels after the very first session, while for others it’s after additional sessions. As part of the counseling process, often problem solving and communication skills are enhanced.

Counseling requires time, effort and commitment, this cannot be over emphasized because many people have the wrong notion that counseling is a quick fix one stop shop, where your problems are resolved in a quick fix. Far from that, it’s a process which requires time, so be patient and enjoy each session. Counseling indeed helps many people; approximately 80% of people in counseling reap benefits (Seligman,2006).

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Counseling improves and even saves lives, and seeking counseling is a sign of courage and strength because it’s an important step in taking charge of your mental health and creating the life that you deserve, a life worth living.

Professional counselors approach their work holistically, using a “wellness” model (as opposed to an illness” one) which highlights and encourages clients strengths. It’s of great importance to do a little research to find a licensed therapist that aligns with your situation and then to embrace that person with an open mind.

According to Dr. David Spiegel, M.D., associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University, one should be open to seeking professional help when it comes to their emotional health. “We are social creatures fundamentally, so talking to people can be a real source of help”. But it won’t happen if you don’t give it a try, so go on give it a try. There’s some stigma that you feel that you don’t need emotional support.You don’t have to be severely mentally ill to get help, and you are stronger if you do that.

Get in touch

You are welcome to get in touch, if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, I’d be happy to hear from you, let’s get the conversation started.

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