What is counselling?
I’ve been a counsellor for such a long time that I sometimes forget what an alien concept counselling can be for some people. I run a private practice 30 minutes outside of London seeing couples and individuals who are experiencing problems.
Typical issues that people seek counselling for are:
- Relationship issues – trouble communicating, break ups, marital issues, abusive relationships
- Depression, anxiety, panic attacks
- Low self esteem, low confidence, failure to thrive
What counselling can help with:
Counselling can help identify thoughts that are unhelpful and that are contributing to problems in life. When we listen to our negative thinking, we often end up in a self-fulfilling prophecy: one where the negative thoughts begin to manifest in life.
For example, if our inner talk tells us we are fat, ugly and useless, our body language will mirror this inner world that we create and others will respond to the negative body language by avoiding us. We then use this incorrectly as evidence that our thoughts are true instead of seeing that our faulty thinking may have helped create the situation in the first place.
Counselling offers a safe, non judgemental place to talk about issues that worry us. Often, in the real world we can’t talk about the things we can discuss in counselling. Reassurance and objective input can be extremely useful in changing the status quo.
Counselling also helps us to understand where the issues/behaviour might be coming from and how we can go about changing things for the positive.
What counselling can’t help with:
Counselling needs input from the client to work. It requires effort to change bad habits and can be quite exhausting in many ways. Part of counselling involves ‘unlearning’ habitual patterns of behaviour (many picked up in childhood) that work against us.
Counselling can’t make life 100% perfect. It can help you be more resilient and find better ways to cope when life gets tough.
Counselling is a fantastic way to understand yourself better and improve your self awareness. We can all learn more about ourselves and challenge our existing ways of doing things.
Photo by Joe Houghton