Why seek help from counselling? As we move through life, rarely is it ever all smooth sailing. Admitting your life isn’t stellar, may feel scary or sad. But the truth is, nobody is perfect. Everyone has their struggles. You might be experiencing problems at work, difficulties in a relationship, struggling with your mental health, dealing with a serious accident or illness, or find yourself in a season of grief or loss. They are times when reaching out for support and solutions is healthy.
So let’s say you decide to talk to a professional Counsellor. Naturally, you will want the results that are best for you, and that may leave you wondering, “How to get the best help from Counselling”?
From my experience, as a registered Counsellor and Psychotherapist helping people from all walks and seasons of life both nationally and internationally, there are 7 common steps I consider essential in getting the best help from counselling. So let’s work our way through those steps now.
Step #1. Timing is Everything! Get help early. When seeing a therapist is delayed or foregone, life’s problems are only likely to fester and grow, and depending on the situation, that may lead to things like irretrievable relationship breakdowns or long-term negative impacts on health and wellbeing. Therefore, make early intervention a priority.
Step #2. Cooperate. Be responsive and cooperative with your therapist. When that approach is taken, you’ll find the experience far more satisfying and supportive in fulfilling your needs and goals.
Step #3. Really Listen! Listening is ‘wanting to hear’. It is as simple as that. Let go of your own agenda. Ultimately, your Counsellor is guiding you to reach your own decisions, finding solutions that are important to you, and in the best interests of the goals you want to pursue.
Step #4. Openness. Be open-minded. Be willing to learn. Embrace counselling, don’t begrudge it. For change to happen, it first requires a deeper understanding of what it is that needs to change.
Step #5. Honesty. Be real. Remove your mask because we all wear them. The key is to be transparent and truthful. It is easier to do that with a Counsellor, because they are accepting, independent and impartial. Nobody is perfect so have courage in owning your attitudes and actions.
Step #6. Find Positives. Acknowledge the positives. Seek to find a silver-lining even when life isn’t easy. A negative mind will never attract a positive life. Therapists are trained to help people see life from different perspectives. There is always something to be grateful for, no matter how many curveballs come your way.
Step #7. Continue as long as it takes. Avoid putting a time-line on therapy. Resolutions may come quickly but sometimes it takes longer. Be mindful that you are making an investment in your self-care. That’s about the most important investment you can ever make. Taking care of your health and wellbeing is a sound foundation for building a happier and brighter future.
As a final thought, if you are feeling like you need someone to talk to today, then go ahead and reach out for help. It is often the healthy start for taking a big weight off one’s mind. Find a Counsellor you feel you can trust and bond with, and who has the skills and experience in your specific area of need.
Further tips about getting help from counselling and enjoying healthy mental wellbeing can be found by following me on Facebook at RohanWCC or by checking out more Resources and Blogs on my website.
ROHAN WATSON is a member of the Australian Counselling Association and a general member of the International Association of Applied Neuroscience. He holds graduate and post-graduate qualifications in Psychology, Counselling and Education from Monash University and USQ, including a Master of Counselling (Advanced Practice) degree awarded with Distinction.
As a Psychotherapist, Counsellor and Mental Health Researcher, Rohan is dedicated to helping unlock the potential in people to live happily and more purposefully. His Toowoomba Counselling & Coaching service helps people from all walks and seasons of life.
Rohan has facilitated and delivered mental health programs across rural and remote Australia. He provides professional psychotherapy services to employees at all levels nationally through EAP based services, is a highly sought-after Marriage Counsellor and Relationship Counselling specialist, and has a special interest in the online delivery of mental wellness programs. Rohan’s current research is focusing on early intervention mental wellbeing in the workplaces of Australian SMEs. Learn more.
PS. In Step #7 I talked about the importance of self-care. Most people know the benefits of good personal body hygiene. But I think we may have a long way to go in putting just as much emphasis on our emotional hygiene. Watch Psychologist Guy Winch’s TedX Talk, “Why we all need to practice emotional first aid” and I think you’ll better understand what I am trying to say here.