All You Need To Know About Counselling
What is Counselling all about?
Counselling is a helping process which by way of talking and discussing, helps the client to find solutions and feel comfortable. It starts with the first contact of the client with the counsellor. It may get completed in one session or many sessions (to be cost effective it may be limited to a maximum of 10 sessions). It usually has few stages.
First client comes in contact with the counsellor. They develop trust and rapport with each other. The client is helped to talk about his perceived problems and his/her emotional reactions. She/he is encouraged to have an emotional ventilation and is assured of help to find solutions to her/his problems and life situations. Both accept to meet for discussion and further exploration.
Second comes the understanding and exploration of problems. The factors which appear to be the cause, aggravate or become obstacles in finding and exploration of solutions are identified and understood. Realistic and scientific explanations are worked out . The contributions of the individual, others, and the environment for the growth and worsening of the problems are identified. All aspects of the problems, individual’s strength and weaknesses are visualized and understood.
Third comes implementing the measures understood by the individual to solve the problem and is helped to work out short term and long term goals. Client also works towards reducing the severity of the problem or to cope with problems , if no solution is possible.
The individual is helped to find out people, agencies and institutions who may help her/him in this regard. Referrals are made and follow ups are done by counsellor. Thus, the main goal of counselling is, the individual is encouraged to keep trying to improve his conditions using the available resources and feel comfortable in this ongoing struggle.
It’s all about a therapeutic relationship between an individual and a professional that explores individual’s concerns. It involves a mutual endeavour together to recognize and move towards the individual’s goals. With this course of action, individuals can build up a better perception of their life and themselves, which includes repetitive patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and the way in which these may have been problematic. Counselling delivers an opportunity to change some of these unsupportive patterns and to look at how to tap into the individual’s current resources or to build up new ones and move towards more satisfying emotional and social functioning.
Can I benefit from counselling?
One seeks counselling when facing developmental and life concerns. Problems with managing depression, relationship and family problems, stress , anxiety , grief and loss, poor self-esteem, identity issues and loneliness are few of the reasons for which people may decide to take on the counselling process. Students may seek counselling for reasons like career indecision, academic pressures, homesickness, exam anxiety, and difficulties balancing work /school/ home life.
How do I know if I should seek out counselling process?
It may be right to seek counselling if one is experiencing any emotional, social, or behavioural problem for example:
Feelings of powerlessness or despair
Feeling low, weary, depressed or uninterested
Personal concerns that hamper your sleep, work/academic performance, concentration ability, and/or relationships with others
Long-standing unhappiness or grieving
Greater than before irritability or excessive mood swings
Suicidal or self-harming thoughts or for other people
Consistent anxiety or panic attacks
Insecurity or uncertainty about your life or future career/relationship
Distress about the conduct or emotional state of a friend, partner, peer, or family member, and wondering about how or even whether you should intervene
Will anyone know that I am coming in for counselling?
Unless you choose to tell others that you are seeking counselling, no one will know. For example, if a family member or a known person contacts our office for information about you, we cannot and will not reveal this information.
Health professionals preserve strict confidentiality about clients’ participation in counselling. Only exceptions to this rule are situations in which professionals are lawfully entitled to break confidentiality. These circumstances are:
In progress ill-treatment or neglect of a child or dependent adult
Grave risk of suicide or harm to you or others
What is the difference between a counsellor, psychologist and psychiatrist?
The term “counsellor” is unregulated in India and so anyone who provides counselling, regardless of training, can use this title, so ask your provider about his/her credentials!
Psychologists, usually specialize in single area, e.g., counselling/clinical practice, school psychology, or education psychology. Ppsychologists usually require a minimum of a Master’s degree, and some also have a doctoral degree.
Psychiatrists, are physicians (medical doctors) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. While they may deliver counselling, their treatment approaches are usually more biologically based; for instance, they may prescribe medication.
What if I require medication?
Individuals going through certain conditions (e.g., severe depression, anxiety) may benefit from taking medication , with or without counselling. If you are wondering whether you might need medication, please discuss with your psychologist, and a referral to a physician or a psychiatrist may be made.