As we move through life, rarely is it ever all smooth sailing. For some of us, it can be downright stressful a lot of the time. Admitting your life isn’t perfect may feel scary or sad. But the truth is, everyone faces setbacks and sorrows.
All kinds of curveballs can come at us. 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.
These are all times when reaching out and talking to a Counsellor is a healthy thing to do. Talking to a trusted therapist is an opportunity to feel supported and get help in finding real solutions for what is important to you. So let’s say you have decided to reach out to a professional Counsellor. What you might then wonder is, “How to get best help from counselling”? It is only natural to want to get the results that are right for you.
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.
For more tips about counselling and healthy mental wellbeing, these can be found by following me on Facebook at RohanWCC or why not check out further 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 qualifications in Psychology, Counselling and Education from Monash University and USQ. As a Psychotherapist, Counsellor and Mental Health Researcher, Rohan is dedicated to helping unlock the potential in people to live life happily and more purposefully. His Toowoomba Counselling & Coaching service provides specialist wellbeing help to people from all walks and seasons of life by phone, video or face-to-face, both nationally and internationally. Rohan has facilitated and delivered mental health programs across rural and remote Australia and he provides professional psychotherapy services to employees at all levels nationally through EAP based services. He is a particularly sought-after and highly skilled Marriage Counsellor and Relationship Counselling specialist. Rohan also has a special interest in the online delivery of mental wellness programs. His current research is focusing on early intervention mental wellbeing in the workplaces of Australian SMEs. Learn more here.
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.