Supportive:When considering counselling, you will need a counsellor who is very supportive if you find yourself saying things like ‘I really need someone to ‘listen and understand me’ - ‘I feel so overwhelmed and don’t know what to do’, or ‘I feel so scared.., anxious.., angry.., emotional, what can I do?’
Insight:Alternatively, you will need a counsellor who will bring insight into your situation if you say things like ‘I can’t bear to be alone, yet I’m pushing people away, I need to understand why’-‘I feel afraid because I think my partner is going to leave me, I want to feel differently about that’. Or maybe something like, ‘I’m sexually attracted to other people and I’m scared I will act on these feelings and hurt my partner, I’m so confused’.
Change:There is also another factor to consider too. You will need a counsellor who will encourage change if you find yourself saying: ‘I’m afraid I am beginning to repeat the terrible relationship my parents had, I need to change that’ - ‘I want to improve my relationship with my partner, I punish them for all the past hurts’ -‘I’m not doing very well in my relationships, I’m constantly cheating and lying and I want it to stop’.
Information:You will need a counsellor that is able provide information and give answers to your questions – ‘my drinking is out of control, where can I go to get right help?’ – ‘I suspect my teenager is taking drugs, I need some facts’. Or, ‘my partner is hitting me, what shall I do?’
Psycho-education:Because psycho-education does a lot to inform us about the true nature of mental and emotional concerns, it’s an essential goal of therapy to help you better understand mental health conditions. This would be the counsellor explaining ways in which dysfunctional behaviour, repeated patterns and mental health conditions impact your life, family and relationships. Normally this is achieved through teaching and sharing of relevant theory in a collaborative way.
Over time you become more aware of the challenges and dynamics that play out in your life and the part you play in that, which then allows you to take personal responsibility towards your mental and emotional well-being. This is about becoming emotionally intelligent and emotional literate. It’s important to note that a counsellor should offer all factors described here. There is no specific order that they come in, but it is important to break this down so you can begin to understand what it is you need at any given time in the counselling process.
If you want to find out if counselling is right for you please call Deborah Kerr Psychotherapist and Registered Counsellor on 07870 127650 or visit her website www.deborahkerrcounselling.co.uk