Quite often clients tell me that when they first shared that they planned to seek professional help, they were told - "why do you need a counsellor? You're not mad!"
And that notion unfortunately has been a challenge and remains one till date. Most people don't know what counselling is. Its more important to know what counselling is not..
Counselling is not giving advice, not offering solutions to a client's problem. I do not have solutions to offer to my clients. However I can help my clients to find their own solutions to their concerns or problems. Counselling is just a space - a safe space for a client to share thoughts, feelings and perhaps even to vent. To reflect upon the same.
The counsellor offers unconditional positive regards, is non judgemental, compassionate and pretty much holds a mirror to the client's mind. And just as a mirror doesn't tell the person how good or bad they are looking and just reflects the reality, likewise the counsellor too does the same.
In simpler language, the counsellor helps you to see the back of your head.
What does counselling involve?
Initially its largely listening. Then on, the counsellor will help you identify the source of the problem, areas impacted, what needs to be done differently in order to get a different result and where necessary, build coping skills/communication skills/ decision making skills/assertiveness etc.
Counselling is a confidential process. It is a safe process and is done at a pace that is comfortable to the client.
Seeking counselling most definitely does not mean you are incapable or incompetent. It simply means you have the courage to look inside yourself. All of us do have an innate ability to cope. What's important is whether we are coping in a healthy way..