Who is Counselling good for?
Counselling can be useful for those who are struggling with some aspect of life. They are aware that there is a problem but have been unable to resolve it. Ideally they are able to take responsibility for the problem and are ready for change and that they are ready to harness their own resources to affect development and growth.
Short/Long term focus.
Sometimes the focus is very much about what is happening now, a life dilemma, work related stress or a loss. Short term work is focusing on the specific problem that is in their awareness and staying with that problem in a focused way. At times it becomes clear that underlying current problems are issues from the past that effect outlook, relationships and self esteem, that may help understand the problem more fully. If this is the case longer term work could be useful to address the thinking and beliefs that can keep difficulties resurfacing. Sometimes understanding is enough.
What can Counselling do?
Counselling can help to bring perspective and clarity to resolve the immediate problem and bring relief. Increased self-awareness and working through difficulties can increase self-esteem and confidence. The world can look very different when long-term problems are successfully faced. More resourceful and satisfying ways can be found to face life's difficulties.
The choice is yours.
Whether you choose to work on a particular problem or 'spring clean' is up to you. The counsellor should be prepared to meet you where you are at and go with you on your own personal journey until you are satisfied with what you have achieved.
From a person centred approach the relationship is based on respect and trust, with the notion that you have the resources within towards growth. The relationship is based on unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence, placing you at the centre of the work and encouraging self-determination. The relationship that develops is important to the outcome; it is worthwhile to look into the approach of a potential counsellor to make sure that it fits with what you want. On the first session you have the opportunity to meet the counsellor and make sure that you are going to be well matched, comfortable and confident before you proceed. If you are not sure it might be worth trying another approach or counsellor.
The benefits of short term counselling would hopefully be to get the individual back on track, functioning better in the world. The benefits of long term counselling can be more profound, leaning towards self-development and growth. It can help you to become the person you would wish to be.
By Dawn Baskerville
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