The process and purpose of Counselling is often misunderstood, and many people have a negative perception of it. There are several myths and stigma attached to the complete process of Counselling. People are often very conflicted about approaching a professional who will be discussing and analyzing their hurtful feelings, sadness, and anxieties. Therefore there is a constant sense of uneasiness and uncertainty in the minds of people and questions arise such as "Can this professional really help me?" or "Would it be a painful waste of my time?" or you might convince yourself that "I really have no idea what I would say."? Especially if you have never ever been in counselling or therapy.
What brings people to Counseling
From childhood through late adulthood, there are certain times when we may need help addressing problems and issues that cause us emotional distress or make us feel overwhelmed. People often come to a counselor when they face:
- Life transitions such as—marriage, pregnancy divorce or remarriage; having, raising and launching children ; life threatening illness, substance abuse and or addiction, moving, changing jobs, schools, friends or communities; facing retirement, loss of loved ones, job conflicts and concerns, relationship issues
- Debilitating Feelings such as—depression or sadness, stress or anxiety, emptiness or loneliness, low self-esteem, lack of confidence in self, fear and or phobia, disinterest in work, frequent tardiness
- Troubled relationships—with spouse/partner, family or friends, boss or colleagues and in school/University/teachers
- Personal and spiritual uncertainties—about the purpose, meaning and direction in life and a sense of loss of one’s ability and capabilities
What is Counselling?
Mental Health counselling is based on the science of Psychology. The methods and techniques of various treatment modalities that are used by mental health counsellors/therapists are based on scientific research. These methods are practical, solution focussed; problem solving based skill building methods whose main goal is the best interest and overall well being of the individual.
Counselling is a facilitative and interactive process where a counsellor provides to the client emotional help, guidance, insight, nurturance and clarity to life situations, crisis and dilemmas. People often behave in ways without knowing why they do so and may be living or behaving in ways that they would like to understand better and change. The process of Counselling can help to bring insight and awareness to their unconscious feelings and behaviours and the connection between them. The process eventually allows the client greater freedom in making choices that helps the client to achieve self sufficiency, a greater sense of self-worth and empowerment.
ESSENCE OF COUNSELING
“The Essence of counselling is always the learning of improved skills and techniques to increase one’s ability to better deal with life’s vicissitudes”
How does Counselling work?
The therapist listens to the client's reasons for seeking help. This could be initiated through a phone call, walk in, or a referral. As a follow up a screening/assessment appointment is set in person which generally lasts for about 50 minutes. In this meeting the clinician conducts an assessment with a thorough screening of the presenting problem, rule out organic symptoms that might be causing the presenting problem, provide a medical referral if necessary and recommends one or more ways of therapy to eliminate the symptoms of distress
If it is determined that other professional help is needed, the therapist will assist in making an appropriate referral. All decisions are made in consultation with the client.
What is the duration of therapy?
The time required for therapy varies with each person depending on the nature of the issues presented, personal history and agreed upon goals. The length of therapy is jointly determined by the client and counsellor and may be revised as therapy progresses. Appointments are usually once a week and last about 60 minutes. In a therapeutic model such as Crisis Counselling, the session is very solution focused with not more than three one-hour sessions. Otherwise sessions can be short term which is about six sessions with one session a week or long term which could range from about 10-12 sessions with one session a week. The objective, duration and the treatment plan is outlined at the onset of therapy to provide the client a strong structure and a committed continuity to their treatment. However, they are not fixed considering the therapist will review the progress and the outcomes achieved with the client on an ongoing basis and on a mutual agreement with the client will modify and or terminate the session accordingly.
Is counselling confidential?
All information shared in therapy is held in utmost confidentiality. As a client, you are guaranteed the protection of confidentiality within the boundaries of the client/counselor relationship. Counselors are mandated by their ethical commitments that no information discussed in the sessions is released without the authorization of the client. The only limitations to confidentiality occur when a counselor feels that there is clear and imminent danger to you or to others. However, no information discussed in the sessions is released without the authorization of the client. Detailed information about confidentiality and privacy will be listed in the Client's Bill of Rights which is signed by the client before commencement of session(s).