Self Help

Choosing Your Counsellor

Counselling is a two-way street. It requires the cooperation of the client and the counsellor.

Going to a counsellors clinic does not mean you do all the talking and the therapist listens or vice versa. It is a constant exchange of information, through questions, doubts, sharing of experiences and empathy.

When choosing a counsellor keep the following in mind:

Goals: It is important for you and your counsellor to set clearly defined goals and realistic time frames. If you are hoping for a fast paced over-night recovery and your counsellor is on a totally different page, you will encounter a lot of trouble in achieving your target. Setting expectations during the initial sessions put you and your counsellor in-sync with each other.

Environment: The environment in which the counsellor conducts their sessions should make you feel comfortable, secure, able to let go of your inhibitions and explore yourself freely. For example, if you are someone who likes brightly lit rooms your counsellor should be able to make these tiny adjustments for you during your sessions.

Relationship: You and your counsellor should establish a good relationship. Your relationship must be one where you feel comfortable, can be completely honest about your feelings, thoughts and do not feel judged.

Identify: Your counsellor should give you the freedom to discover yourself as well as help pinpoint the obstacles in your way. If you are able to identify these obstacles but are unable to overcome them they should be able to suggest behavioural modifications that will help you overcome these obstacles.

Coping Skills: Your counsellor should be able to guide you with coping skills that are effective for you. They should be able to modify therapies and programs to suit your needs, progress levels and ability.

Communication: The counsellor should be able to provide you with tools that are necessary for clear communication with the people in your life. Being able to communicate effectively and honestly with the people in your life is one the most important values you can take away from therapy.

Empathy: Some client’s like to speak to counsellors who have experienced similar disorders and overcome them. While others do not! It is important for you to know what makes you more comfortable, sharing your experience with someone who has experienced a similar situation or not.

Choosing a counsellor that you are likely to stick with is not easy. Every one is unique and one size does not fit all. Try a counsellor for a few sessions, if you feel the therapy lacks the required chemistry look for another counsellor that is able to attend to your needs effectively.

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