If you have ever thought about accessing counselling and how it can help you in your life – allow me to share with you a bit about what counselling is and how to access it.
Counselling is a big deal!
It isn’t like getting together with a friend and having coffee, unless your friend is a counsellor and really knows how to listen! But even then, it’s very different. Your counsellor only knows you. We hear about other people in your life through your lens. We are on your side and have your best interest at heart. You and your goals become our goals too! We support you as you identify that which blocks you from living your fulfilled life and support you to find ways to move closer towards them.
The relationship you have with your counsellor is unique and precious. Where, elsewhere in life, do you get one hour dedicated to you? Counselling allows dedicated time to work through your difficulties, your healing, your recovery, and your experience in life. It is a precious and special thing.
As counsellors, we love what we do. We love people and understand life can be challenging and difficult at times. We care deeply about our clients and are incredibly engaged in you and your experiences every time we meet.
If you have never accessed counselling before, are returning or are looking for a new counsellor – all the same practices apply. Check out my tips for accessing counselling below.
1. First and foremost – you are the priority!
You matter the most, and you are the expert on you. What that means is, if it feels right, stick with it – and if it doesn’t feel right, trust yourself! You can always seek out a different counsellor who will likely be able to better meet your needs. That being said, if you have ‘shopped around’ for a few counsellors and no one feels right, that might be a flag that something is uncomfortable to you about exploring healing.
2. Have a sense of what you are hoping to accomplish through counselling.
Is it something like ongoing support and self-care? Perhaps you have a specific difficulty you are seeking support around. A great question to reflect on when starting to think about counselling is: How will I know when I am ready for counselling to be over?
3. If you don’t know where to start – exactly where you are is the perfect place!
It is one hundred percent wonderful to go to a counsellor and share that something in your life isn’t going the way you want, but you don’t know what to do about it. Workshop it with them. Perhaps in exploring it, you will uncover that which isn’t quite right in your life.
4. Be ready for your counsellor not to tell you what to do!
Sometimes when we don’t know what to do, we look for an expert to tell us. After all, that is very common in the healthcare field. We have some ailment and go to the doctor, specialist, physio, chiro and they tell us what is going on and what we need to do. Seeking support through counselling is very much a collaborative experience. Together with your counsellor you will explore what is going on in your life that is difficult right now and from there, together, you can move towards resolution.
5. If something isn’t working for you in your counselling session, tell your counsellor!
Who better to practice having hard conversations with than someone who is on your team, skilled at having hard conversations, and hopefully a safe-enough person? Maybe you like to have homework, maybe you need more direction, maybe you need more sessions, maybe you need more space to process in between sessions… whatever it is (reference point #1), it is in your best interest to share what is not working for you with your counsellor!