Let’s Talk About Counselling…

Meredith Pilley of Meredith Pilley Counselling Services explains…

Why do people seek Counselling?

Each person who enters counselling has his or her own story.  People deal with many issues in their lives, but often it comes to a point when they just aren’t able to do so on their own any longer.  Those dealing with grief and loss (death, relationship breakdown, loss of employment), mental health issues (diagnosed or undiagnosed), family issues (parenting, supporting the entire family through difficult times, partnerships), gender issues (questioning, coming out, transitioning, supporting partners/families of LGBTQ2 individuals as allies), trauma (physical, sexual,emotional – including adult survivors of childhood abuse) find counselling helpful.

What are the benefits of Counselling?

You and your counsellor will work together to find healthy ways of coping so that you can discover solutions that help you move forward towards your vision of a fulfilling life. Your counsellor will work with you to see things more clearly, possibly from a different viewpoint. This can enable you to focus on feelings, experiences or behaviour, with a goal to facilitating positive change.

When should someone seek Counselling?

There are times when issues just keep circling round and you might feel stuck, or when a crisis happens and you feel overwhelmed. People typically enter counselling because they are hurting, frustrated, or feeling overwhelmed by a problem. Counselling can help you rebalance and find some sense of moving forward safely.

What about the stigma of Counselling?

As a society we have come a long way from the stigma of counselling, however we always have work to do with this.  Seeking support through counselling takes strength.  It also takes a lot of courage to open up to someone, and counselling is a lot of work as you filter through your feelings and issues and implement strategies to support you and your healing.

What should someone expect from counselling?

During your counselling sessions, you will be encouraged to express your feelings and emotions freely. By discussing your concerns with you, the counsellor can help you to gain a better understanding of your feelings and thought processes, as well as identifying ways of finding your own solutions to problems.

What are the different types of Counselling?

There are many different types of counselling, and many different ways of connecting a counsellor with a client. For example: face-to-face, individually or in a group, over the phone, using a specialized computer program such as Skype or by secure email.

Many people talk about the importance of a “good fit.” How does someone know if the fit is right?

Remember that it is normal to feel some anxiety about seeing a counsellor, and it is hard to assess the fit until you’ve been through a few sessions.  Research shows that therapeutic fit is the most important factor in successful counselling. A good fit is one where you feel empowered to ask questions about your counselling and you are welcomed to negotiate changes in direction ~ where you genuinely feel you are in control of your progress.

How long does counselling last?

The duration of counselling has to do with how deeply you are able to work, how much you have done previously, how ready you are to work now, and the quality of fit between you and your counsellor.  Your counsellor can provide both short-term and longer-term therapy. Your counsellor will discuss the course of counselling throughout your work together.

What if someone’s symptoms get worse after they start counselling?

Some people experience an increase in unpleasant symptoms at the beginning ofcounselling, as difficult issues are being stirred up. If you are able to manage this phase of counselling, there is usually great relief as the work progresses. Your counsellor will help you learn new ways to cope with unpleasant symptoms.

A final note on counselling.

A counsellor can help you gain the confidence and power necessary to live the happier life you deserve.   Counselling is a great opportunity to make a difference to your life, and have the well-being and success that you so deserve!
Submitted by: 
Meredith Pilley  MSW,RSW

Meredith Pilley Counselling Services