LET’S TALK ABOUT COUNSELLING
If the idea of counselling makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone. Most of my clients have said it took them a really long time to gather the courage to contact me. They’ve also said they wish they’d done it way sooner!
If you’ve never seen a counsellor before, you might share some familiar concerns:
* I’m not crazy, and I’m not weak. Isn’t that who counselling is for?
* I’m worried I won’t like my counsellor.
* My loved one thinks I’m going to say bad things about them.
* I live in a small community, and I’m concerned about my privacy.
* I can’t afford to pay for counselling.
* I don’t know what to expect.
Let’s discover the facts…
There isn’t a person on earth who knows how to do everything flawlessly. That includes navigating emotional landscapes, and negotiating the complexities of human relationships. It’s a mark of intelligence, strength, wisdom and maturity to recognize that you can benefit from another’s expertise, and to consult with them accordingly.
It’s extremely important that you do like your counsellor. You need to feel comfortable with them, and be confident that what they offer will be useful. If you don’t find the right match on the first try, don’t be afraid to keep looking. A good counsellor will encourage you to find the right counsellor for you, and may even recommend a colleague!
Your friends and family can rest easy. A good counsellor will keep the focus of every session on you – your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs; your behaviours, discoveries, and solutions. You’ll be so enthusiastically engaged in learning about yourself, you won’t even remember to focus on anyone else!
Your privacy is fully protected. Professional counsellors are bound to a code of ethics that includes uncompromising confidentiality. Your counsellor can’t tell anyone else about your sessions, or even that you’re seeing them. Most counsellors also have a protocol for when they encounter clients in public. There are rare situations in which they may be required, by law, to share specific information. A good counsellor will review this with you, and clarify their individual policies. If they forget, make sure to ask!
Now more than ever, the expense of therapy doesn’t have to get in your way. Even if you don’t have an extended health plan that covers the cost, more and more counsellors are finding creative ways to make their work accessible. Be sure to ask about Special Rates, Sliding Scale, or Fair Fees.
When you find your right fit, a good therapy session will inspire you to see the world a little differently. You’ll entertain new & different perspectives. You’ll feel more empowered and knowledgeable, and you’ll develop insights and skills that help you be more at ease. You’ll remember that life challenges are a universal experience. You’ll come to know your counsellor as a trustworthy ally, and you might even surprise yourself by looking forward to the sessions you once thought you’d dread!
Check out the full May 2017 Fishbowl Magazine for more Salt Spring Island sweetness!