We take paracetamol for headaches, eat when we need food, sleep when we are tired and see a doctor when we are unwell. Why can't we see counselling the same way?
Living in an emotion-dismissing society, it is unfortunate that there is a lot of stigma around counselling, mental struggles and psychiatric disorders. Such stigma leads to discrimination, harassment, bullying, social rejection and worse. All of this can make people reluctant to get help and delay doing so. This needs to stop. To assume we understand what others are going through and to compare their experiences to our own - that is hubris.
Nobody can save you but yourself, and you’re worth saving. It’s a war not easily won but if anything is worth winning then this is it. Charles Bukowski
What is Counselling?
Counselling can only happen if the person seeking help, the client, wants it to happen.
Counselling is fundamentally based on conversation and it is a provision of time and space characterized by following features, which are often not readily available in everyday life:
Affirmation and Permission to Be
Counselling gives a client a place to give a voice to aspects of his/her experience that might have previously been silenced. The counsellor focuses on helping the person articulate and express without fear of judgement. The act of seeking counselling is not, and should not, be viewed as an indicator of personal deficiency.
Confidentiality and a Safe Space
Whatever is discussed in a counselling session is strictly confidential. The counsellor respects the client and provides a safe space for him/her.
Effectiveness of Counselling
Most clients look for fast and easy solutions to ease their emotional pains and turn to self-numbing distractions. For counselling to work, it takes conscious efforts from the client and it takes time. Depending on the client’s condition, it often takes about 6 to 8 sessions for them to start seeing and feeling a change.
That change can look like:
- An increased awareness on themselves and others, thinking and behavioural patterns
- A new understanding or perspective, or an acceptance on the problem or situation
- A healthier sense of self/relationship with self
- A consolidation of conflicting parts of self (past, present, future)
- Learning and unlearning certain mechanisms to handle triggers and emotionally-charged situations
Reach out for help. Because, you are worth it.