- Many people think that if you go to see a counsellor, you are suffering from a mental health problem. They think you can’t cope or it may be seen as a sign of weakness. I sat back and started to think why is it that people can happily go and see a clairvoyant, pay anything up to $200.00 for 1 hour to find out about their future.
If I had a crystal ball, how easy life would be. If we had all the answers then our lives would be so much easier. Our future has not been written yet. You are the only one who has control over your life and your future.
What is Counselling?
Counselling is spending time with a highly-trained professional in either Social Work, Counselling or Psychology. These people spend years studying. Counselling is about making changes to your life, making the hard decisions, changing the way you think, act and feel with the assistance of someone who helps to facilitate these changes. You work with someone who can provide you with coping mechanisms and tools to be able to get through the difficult times. Counselling sometimes deals with complex issues. Counselling may also assist with life changes in a person’s career or relationship. The issues are endless. Counselling can be a sounding board.
How Can I Pay Someone to Just Listen to Me?
How much do you spend on your physical health? Then why wouldn’t you spend time and resources on your mental health. After all, it’s how we think, feel and act that impact our physical health. What happens in your brain will affect the rest of your body.
How do I know if the therapist is any good?
A good therapist will:
- listen and confirm with you what they understand about your situation.
- will maintain professional boundaries at all times.
- know you are the expert in your life and they are they are there to facilitate.
- not tell you what to do.
- not spend time talking about themselves or their experiences.
- encourage you to become as independent as possible and not dependent upon them.
- treat you with respect and dignity at all times.
- maintain confidentiality.
Try not to judge a therapist as to how long they have been counselling. Whilst experience does make a difference how the therapist will run a session, it does not determine their worth in being able to help you. Always check their qualifications. Anyone can call themselves a counsellor. However, not everyone can call themselves a Social Worker or Psychologist because these two professions require University Degrees. Counselling is becoming more regulated and in the future no one will be able to call themselves a counsellor without recognised qualifications.Therapists are usually members of professional organisations. They are required to spend time outside of hours, training, attending seminars, personal development, running courses and so on. They want to be the best to give you the best.
How Much Should I Expect to Pay?
It’s up to the therapist. Remember, they too have to pay rent, electricity, telephone, probably someone to maintain their website, travel and so on. Whilst they are in the profession usually because they have a passion to assist people, they are also running a business.
Why Should I Pay to See a Stranger?
It’s great to have a good social network, friends and family you can talk to. However, not knowing a person gives you the freedom to just open up without any judgement or bias. It’s a safe space to be honest with yourself. Honesty sometimes is one of the hardest things to do.
I Don’t Have Any Issues So Why Waste My Time and Money?
That’s great if you don’t have any issues. Those people who usually say they don’t have any issues are too busy taking care of everyone else’s issues. Wouldn’t it be nice for someone to focus on you even if it’s only for one hour? It can simply be about sharing and reflecting. Now, if we go to the physical side of the coin, those who are physically fit spend time on their physical health so spending a little time on your mental health is again, simply maintenance. You would be surprised at the issue/s that arise out of conversation.
Wasting Your Time?
Maintaining your mental health will improve your overall health. The evidence is clear that good mental health improves physical health. Good physical health improves mental health. You owe it to yourself, your friends and family to be the best you can.