What is Counselling?

Nikita Ghisleni
Date: 12 March 2020

By: Nikita Ghisleni
  • Reading time: 15 Mins

For many people the thought of having to tell a significant other that they are going to counselling can be very daunting. The stereotypes that are associated “patients” of counselling can result in many individuals shying away from counselling, out of fear of being judged. Have you ever thought about counselling as an act of self-empowerment? The intention of this article is to firstly provide you with an explanation of what counselling entails and clarify any misconceptions. Finally, the article also explains how going for counselling is one of the most powerful acts of self-care. The purpose of counselling is to use talk therapy and a variety of other tools to help a client work through any challenges.

A counsellor does not give advice nor tell you what to do. The process of counselling is about creating a safe, trusted and confidential space where the client can talk about any issues that they feel need exploring. A counsellor does not interrogate the client or ask questions, but rather holds a conversational space where the client can share as much information as they feel comfortable with. A counsellor is not there to judge a client or their situation, nor give an opinion of right or wrong. A counsellor is there to listen and together with the client decide if there are any issues that the client would like to work through.

Many clients through talking, discover that their thoughts are often distorted from reality which causes them to believe that they are not good enough to achieve their goals, unworthy of being loved or not deserving of a better life. In order to help explore the origination of this type of thinking, a counsellor assists the client in their recollection and reflection on their experiences and deepest memories. Once the underlying seed has been identified and understood, they are able to start overcoming their mental stumbling blocks. Counselors are not there for a ‘quick fix’ but rather to create a relationship where they can work with you and empower you, to become the best possible version of yourself.

Making the decision to go and see a counsellor shows that you care about your mental health. To perform at your very best, you need to be holistically healthy. You need to be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy, as they all consciously and subconsciously impact on each other. Society portrays the notion of seeing a counsellor as the idea that there is something ‘wrong’ with you. This is simply not true! Counselling allows you to gain control over your thoughts, decisions and actions. It lets you see yourself holistically, understand your uniqueness and appreciate your capabilities. A counsellor facilitates the process of finding a way forward and allows you to be your true authentic self.

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