Our world has become tougher to navigate. Our jobs are becoming too stressful, and our relationships with our family, friends, and special ones are becoming fraught. We have to make sure our bills are paid on time every month or else we’ll land in a debt trap.
Accidents can happen, or we can get sick and be hospitalized. Our friends and families can also get sick and may die, leaving us with a hole in our hearts that can never be filled.
Every day we feel this existential dread of experiencing another pandemic and feel the slow but inevitable demise of our world because of the climate crisis. All the while feeling the loneliness, hopelessness, and that crushing feeling that no matter what you do, things will never be alright. It’s relentless.
Counseling: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?
Are you experiencing any of the things mentioned above? Have you had an experience that deeply traumatized you? Do you feel your family or friends are unable or unwilling to understand you and your concerns?
What is counseling exactly and what should you expect?
Counseling is a form of therapy guided by a trained and certified professional, specifically a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Keep in mind that counseling requires your participation. A clinician might hold your hand and guide you, but ultimately, you will be the one to take the first step on the path you mapped out with your counselor.
The counseling process is structured and involves multiple stages that could take months or years depending on the severity of the issues you are dealing with.
Counseling is more than just venting your frustrations to someone you paid to listen to you. As mentioned, it’s a process. A journey. Take a look at the stages of the counseling process below.
1. The intake stage
This is the stage where the counselor tries to get as much information as they can about your concerns.
Some of the relevant information required includes the symptoms you are experiencing, your lifestyle, your medical history, and your immediate concerns. All the information can be gathered during the first session, or sometimes during the succeeding ones as well.
This is also the stage of the process wherein the counselor tries to build rapport with you so everything will sail as smoothly as possible.
2. The assessment stage
After collecting relevant data and establishing rapport, the counselor then proceeds to assess your issues and how these issues affect you and the people around you. This is also the stage when a diagnosis is usually made.
3. Planning the treatment
Once the assessment is made and the diagnosis is done, the counselor will work with you to design a roadmap to address the issue(s) at hand. The counselor will also work with you and help you implement the treatment plan.
Now that you have a roadmap, the actual therapy session can begin. During the therapy sessions, you are encouraged to discuss your feelings, past traumas, hopes, relationships, the things you’re anxious about, etc.
If you think something’s too trivial, then stop that line of thinking immediately. Nothing is too trivial for your counselor, and the information might even help your provider as they chart the next course.
This is also the time for you to learn new things or improve on what’s already there with the help of your counselor. Sessions can take months or years depending on the severity of the problem.
Once everything is sorted out and you’ve achieved your goals, it’s time to terminate the counseling process. If you believe you still need help or if you feel that your clinician has not addressed your issue properly, then feel free to ask for a referral.
When it’s time to seek counseling
Have you been experiencing emotional or mental distress lately? Have you been sad, anxious, fearful, or angry for an extended period? Do you feel empty or have your relationships been suffering?
Don’t wait; seek counseling right away. It’s better to address the problem now than let it fester and become a bigger problem later on.
Keep in mind that counseling is not just for people who are dealing with personal problems. You can also seek counseling to improve a specific aspect of your life.
This guest article was written by contributors from Voxen Counselling on the Gold Coast.
Counselling @ Voxen offers a variety of counselling services to help the client get through life’s hurdles – from trauma counselling, anger management, anxiety and depression counselling, relationship counselling, specialising in children, family, relationships and couples therapy. Not only will your counselling sessions be handled professionally – but with respect, dedication, care, empathy, warmth, and without any prejudice. These qualities help build an environment that is compassionate, supportive, and safe – all of which supports and contribute the healing process.