How Counselling Really Helped. A recent story was written by a young lady regarding her experience of having Counselling. What is interesting is the intelligent decisions she made while experiencing difficulties and issues.
This young lady wrote how her first year of university /college was tough. She had moved out of home onto campus, volunteered on her university’s newspaper, took classes and balanced two part-time jobs, had a relationship and before starting an internship. She drank six coffees a day, slept an average of four to five hours a night and cried on her way home from work at least once a week. She was miserable, but like most, did nothing about it thinking this will pass.
Her friend suggested she make an appointment with a Counsellor, but she quickly rebuked saying she was fine. It took one phone call from a work colleague that made her crumble, to make her realise she needed help.
She delayed scheduling an appointment, telling herself she could handle it and just talk to friends. It didn’t matter how many venting sessions she had, the problems didn’t resolve or go away. Even worse, she didn’t get any better at dealing with them.
This young lady soon discovered that there was a difference between venting to friends and actually working through her problems. Professional counselling was a service she had to search for outside her friend and family group. She decided she needed help.
Counselling isn’t reserved for people struggling with a particular mental illness; it’s a resource for everyone. Don’t think people only go to counselling that are in crisis. Everyone stands to benefit from seeing a counsellor, no matter how severe you deem your problems to be, or not.
The Damage Caused by Stress
Everyday stressors like heavy work or study loads, stressful relationships and friend disagreements are points worthy of discussing with a counsellor. Stress builds slowly over time. If it’s not addressed, it can result in an emotional escalation of issues. A counsellor can help you tackle one problem at a time, no matter how minute the issue may seem.
Stress accumulates in your body; the effects are barely noticeable until something sets it in motion. Most people don’t realise they need help until so much stress has accumulated that they are on the verge of a breakdown, experience depression or anxiety.
If you’re dealing with things like anxiety, self-esteem/body image issues or have trouble focusing, you see a counsellor. These problems might seem insignificant compared to others, but they deserve your attention. We must stop comparing our self to others and do what’s best for you.
Some struggle thinking about counselling wondering how they are going to spill all their problems to a complete stranger. Are they going to think I’m pathetic and weird? Worst of all, are they are going to judge me. Talking to a person with whom you have no emotional connection can be extremely beneficial.
The Counselling Relationship
The relationship between a counsellor and their patient is purely focused on the patient’s needs. People often first turn to their friends or family for help, but these are built with inherent biases. The counsellor is able to listen with a neutral perspective and focus solely on your situation, eliminating any external biases and encourage the individual to form organic, logical solutions. While friends and family can be a great source of empathetic and encouraging support, they don’t encourage and support you in the purely altruistic way that a counsellor can.
We all experience stress in our day-to-day life, and we are trained to hide it. You can’t miss work or an assignment because you and your partner got into a fight or you are just ridiculously busy; you put on a smile and battle through. You never have to hide anything from your counsellor. You don’t have to pretend to be okay when you’re not; they don’t judge you or require you to be anything other than yourself. Being able to express our emotions unrestrained is absolutely liberating.
Most people described their stress by saying, “I have a lot going on.” Admitting you have problems is hard, but identifying, prioritising and facing these problems can be terrifying.
Often when clients attend Counselling, the counsellor breaks down each piece of a person’s routine. We determine how you may feel; how comfortable was a situation, what relationships are like, what serves you best and what is not working for you right now. Then we work through each area and find solutions as quickly as we can to ‘lighten the load’. It is developing the strategies to manage, deal with or dissolve the issues that are so beneficial.
After just a few sessions with a professional counsellor, most people realise they are solely responsible for creating the emotional attachments to events, experiences and people and therefore, for alleviating them as well.
Managing the Overload
Life is overwhelming, especially when you are overloaded with both adolescent and adult responsibilities. We overload our self with responsibilities, but never stop to wonder why we put so much on our plate.
Once we seek support, we can make necessary changes in the right way to alleviate these pressures, enjoy life more and be a happy and calmer person. Surely, we all want that. I urge anyone feeling they may benefit from speaking with a counsellor to pick up the phone or do a web search for someone near you. As long as they are qualified and hold registration with either PACFA or ACA you will find a professional and helpful guide.
If anyone needs help, please email me so I can assist you in finding someone, or we can arrange an appointment time either in my counselling room or via Skype or telephone. It only takes one call to start recovering and empowering yourself because you are worth it.