There are many benefits to seeking personal counselling. Often, these will affect both you and the people in your life. Being hesitant to give it a try can have be for a number of different reasons, but the fact of the matter is that a person's mental health is just as important as their physical well-being - if not more so.
Consequently, those who have been on the fence about seeking personal counselling, or those who simply have questions about what it can achieve for them, would do well to learn a little more about both why and how the process can help them grow. Counselling seeks to honour the stories that people bring and allows a time set aside to focus on what’s really going on.
The good news is that there are many potential benefits to counselling, both in the short term and the long term. These include - but are certainly not limited to - the following:
More effective communication and interactions
One of the single biggest benefits for anyone who seeks counselling is that it can help them to clarify what they are thinking and feeling, this then makes it easier to effectively communicate with others about what they want or how they are feeling. There are many positives that sprout from this aspect of seeking care, such as reducing frustration and improving your ability to effectively meet your goals or needs.
If you find yourself frustrated because people don't seem to understand where you're coming from, this is a great first step to start your counselling experience.
Working with a counsellor may help you become a more effective communicator.
When you're dealing with mental or physical health problems, it's not always easy to feel good about yourself. With counselling, a trained professional will be able to help you identify your options for addressing those issues and, in doing so, help you find a roadmap to better well-being. An important goal for counselling may be for you and your counsellor to work together on you becoming more self-reliant and confident in your own ability to make decisions. Even if you don't reach all your goals in short order, you can at least feel better knowing that you're working toward a brighter future.
Problem-solving and conflict resolution
Many people have difficulty dealing with conflict, one way or the other. Some shy away from it entirely, while others are too quick to seek it out. Because conflicts are sometimes unavoidable, counselling can empower you to handle problems in a pragmatic, calm way so that issues are taken care of in a more helpful way.
Develop the necessary skills to deal with conflict.
Everyone is going to deal with some kind of stress in their lives - be it something to do with friends or family, work, their personal health or something else entirely. Much like conflict resolution, finding tools to better manage stress through counselling can dramatically improve your quality of life when you encounter bumps in the road, whether they're big or small.
Building job and parenting skills
There are many aspects of life that should probably come with a manual, but don't. Skills related to parenting or navigating the complex ecosystems in a work environment are certainly among them. While billions of pages have been written on these subjects, it can be hard to find something that meets your particular needs. Working with a counsellor can help you identify the best path forward based on your unique personal and family situation.
Counsellors can help you be a more effective parent.
Dealing with serious hurdles
Depression and other mental health issues can become increasingly common as people age, especially because older people may feel more physically isolated from others or don't always have a big network of friends and family members to communicate with. Counselling provides a great outlet to deal with those problems, allowing you and your counsellor to identify the sources of these problems and find solutions to them.
Everyone needs a "reality check" sometimes. Counsellors are a great source of neutral, outside perspectives on the many things - both big and small - that are going on in your life. Because counsellors are objective, they can help you understand why problems seem overwhelming to you in the moment. They can help you make sense of what’s going on for you which then can help you take control.
A counsellor can help you better understand your situation.
Somewhere to turn
You can be confident with counselling because, no matter what your issues may be, you know you'll have an objective observer who is not only willing to listen, but trained to empower you to better deal with those issues. Often, something as simple as being able to speak openly about your feelings, without worrying about being embarrassed or judged, is a necessary and deeply cathartic way of dealing with them. Most counsellors don’t give advice, rather they help clients sort out their own confusion, and by doing this enable them to discover for themselves solutions to their problems which fit for them.
One aspect of counselling that often goes under-discussed is the fact that when you're able to communicate more effectively and are generally feeling better about things in your life, it's easier to have happy, healthy relationships with those around you. Once you've improved your ability to communicate and develop better interpersonal skills the relationships in your life - with family, friends, co-workers, members of your community and more - will likely improve. Whether at work or home, counselling can help you improve your relationships.
Once you reach the point where you and your counsellor have talked extensively about both the day-to-day and ongoing problems you may be facing, you may simply have a better way of approaching your own habits and behaviours as you respond to them. Counselling is often a chance for serious introspection and finding some answers within yourself. Now that you more fully understand how counselling can help you grow as a person and handle the difficulties life can throw at you, it's time to evaluate what you want to work on in your life. If any of the above seems to apply to you or someone you care for, working with a counsellor could have a massive impact on your daily life. An initial session with a counsellor will involve discussing your expectations and coming to an agreement about what you’d like to work on.
Get in touch with Anglicare today to find out more about how we can help you get the help you need.