What is counselling and how can counselling help me?
Counselling is a professional relationship between you and a counsellor with specific training and education in psychology or other counseling-related area. A Registered Clinical Counsellor has completed at minimum a Master’s Degree, and has met additional requirements set out by the BC Association for Clinical Counsellors. They adhere to a specific set of ethics and expectations, to best serve the clients they work with, which can be found on their website at www.bc-counsellors.org .
Counselling generally involves talking together, though other approaches may be used to promote reflection and growth such as art, music, play, and writing (ie: journaling or other reflective practices). A safe and trusting therapeutic relationship with a counsellor you are comfortable with is central to your progress and achieving your goals. Some possible goals of counselling can include relieving some sort of emotional pain, learning ways to change behaviours or improve relationships, reduce a variety of symptoms that impact mental wellbeing, or recover from the wounds of trauma. Counselling provides space for you to explore difficulties, learn new ways of coping or behaving, and practice new skills with the support and guidance of a caring and compassionate professional. It goes beyond getting advice- counsellors help you learn about yourself, and find your own answers to help you live a more empowered life.
If you are experiencing anxiety or low mood that isn’t improving, disruptions in sleep or diet, or thoughts that you struggle to change, counselling could be helpful. For those who have experienced overwhelming or traumatic events, counselling can be an important part of the healing journey. Seeing a counsellor can provide helpful reflection and insight that can be difficult to gain on our own. The process of change can be difficult, and it can be helpful to have someone alongside while you deepen your self awareness and build healthier coping strategies.
What can I expect from my first session?
It takes a lot of courage to reach out and ask for help. Many people find there is some level of nervousness or anxiety prior to the initial session with a counsellor – this is completely normal! In the first session, some basic paperwork will be reviewed, including the informed consent which outlines the nature of the work and ethics the counsellor adheres to. It is important to discuss this together, to make sure you understand or have the opportunity to ask questions. After this, your counsellor will ask about your reasons for coming in – perhaps it is a particular issue or concern, or a general sense that your life and mood could be better. The first session is an opportunity for you to share about your experience and background, in as much or as little as your feel comfortable with, and to ask questions. Together, we will explore possible goals for the counselling journey, or areas you want to focus on. Your counsellor will also share about their therapeutic orientation (or the approaches used), so that you can determine if working together is a fit for you. Counselling is a collaborative process, and the first session allows us to begin the process together. We do not get into the deep pain on the first session, in fact it is important to get to know each other and build effective coping strategies before wading into the deeper issues.
What kind of commitment does counselling require?
The journey of healing and developing self-awareness looks different for everyone. Sometimes it may only be a few sessions before you find what you are looking for and to make the changes you are seeking. For others, it’s a longer term relationship while you work to repair deeper wounds or change unhelpful behaviours. Your counsellor may make recommendations or suggestions, but you are always the expert in your life, and can choose to refuse or end treatment at anytime. Counselling has been found to be more effective when attendance is consistent, and the frequency in which you meet with your counsellor will be something you collaborate on together. Sometimes the process feels like it gets worse before it gets better, as you learn to face overwhelming emotions or difficult truths, but your counsellor will be alongside to support and guide you. Connecting with a counsellor can be a meaningful gift you give yourself, as you move through the challenges and adventures of your life.
Counsellors at Elements Wellness Centre
Call Elements Wellness Centre today to book your own Counselling sessions – (604) 732-9355