Perhaps you have been thinking about having counselling for a while. One day you feel really low and want to speak to someone as soon as possible. The next day you feel a little better and the thought of contacting a counsellor goes away. But more often than not, the issues that made you feel low are still there and you inevitably feel worse again in a few days’ time.
What other reasons might stop you from making a counselling appointment? Feeling apprehensive about seeing a counsellor for the first time is common. Perhaps you feel embarrassed. It also can be hard sometimes to accept you might need help.
Beyond Blue’s “have the conversation” video encourages you to take the first step.
Mental health issues are often overlooked by society, with many in the community failing to understand that mental health is just as important as physical health, and deserving of equal amounts of care and consideration. Anyone can be affected by mental health issues, but many of us don’t even realise when we or people close to us are suffering from a mental health issue. Symptoms and behavioural changes can be missed or misdiagnosed due to the lack of community awareness and access to helpful information on mental health.
Instead of asking ‘do you think I need counselling?’ Why not ask, ‘might I benefit from counselling?’
This perspective tends to be more useful, because counselling is about receiving support when things get hard in a non-judgemental and collaborative way rather than in a directive “you need to do this” way
If you’re still not sure, why not book an initial session with a counsellor? That way you can find out more about how counselling works and the counsellor can help you decide if it would be useful for your particular situation.
‘Why is Counselling Important’ Snap Shot
- Counselling is an active process in which you are assisted to understand more fully the difficulties you are experiencing.
- It is a chance to talk freely and in confidence with a supportive, impartial and non-judgemental professional.
- Confidentiality is important. Anything you say to your psychologist will not be disclosed except if you indicate risk of harm to yourself or to somebody else. Then your psychologist may be professionally obliged to inform others.
- Sharing troubles, exploring options, discussing strategies, developing a plan, building supports, eliciting clarity and encouraging strengths are some of the functions of counselling.
- Your decisions, culture, religious beliefs and personal values will be respected.
- Counselling may be short or long-term. It can involve dealing with highly emotive issues or breaking long-standing patterns of behaviour. It can be hard work and may require a number of visits.
Since counselling is a very personal experience you are encouraged to let your psychologist know if you don’t feel comfortable for any reason. Together the issue may be resolved or a referral to another counsellor can be arranged.