Counselling brings about very positive change, there is no doubt about that. However something that often isn’t appreciated is that the benefits of counselling can last a lifetime.
Why is that?
A major benefit of counselling is the exploration of thought patterns. An example may be ‘people always let me down’.
Well yes, some people will let you down, but there are a lot of people who won’t. Counselling will help you to explore this, accept that it happens sometimes (and acknowledge that YOU will let people down too, as sometimes it can’t be helped) and look at ways to protect yourself in the future.
The changes made are long lasting, can raise your self esteem and confidence and can make significant differences to the quality of your life.
Counselling isn’t about giving advice, however there are occasions where it is useful to learn some new skills.
These could be:
These skills stay with you, and are added to and improved over time as you see the beneficial effects they have on your life.
When it comes to difficult issues you can become a master of avoidance, putting things off and putting things off while all the time things get progressively worse.
Sometimes you self-medicate with drink, drugs, food, sex, gambling etc.
Counselling (on its own or alongside antidepressants if applicable) looks at repressed emotions and historic feelings once and for all, so that you can move forward with your life. It can examine damaging patterns and bring about change, therefore they don’t hang around to damage new relationships with friends, partners, co-workers, customers or kids.
Antidepressants have a place and can be very useful. However antidepressants on their own don’t make fundamental changes in how we think and feel. There is always the possibility that when you come off them old thoughts and feelings may re-emerge.
During counselling you learn how to reflect on your life. Very often, you get so wrapped up in the day to day business of living that you don’t really stop and take stock of what’s happening emotionally.
Counselling gives you the space to stop and think. How do you feel? What are your needs, and are they being met? What changes might need to be made? What would you like in your future? How can you make it happen?
Once you experience the very real benefits of self reflection, then you can continue this in the future, continuing the positive effects first experienced through counselling.
The benefits of counselling can truly last a lifetime, with the benefits not only staying with us, but often being added to and increased, leading to a higher self esteem, increased confidence, better communication and more clarity.
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Jane Travis is a qualified and experienced counsellor and clinical supervisor in the Lincoln area. She has been working at Reflections Counselling Lincoln since 2005. She also helps other counsellors and therapists market and grow their private practices at JaneTravis.co.uk.