Lets have a look at 7 common misconceptions:
The Reality – When we try to work through problems on our own, they can often go around and around in our head. We have a ‘blind spot’, things that happen outside of out awareness. And although there are self help books that can be useful in that they can give you advice and some insights, they can sometimes add to the confusion.
A counsellor is trained to help you see issues from a slightly different viewpoint, see those blind spots and allow you to view things from a different perspective. Each counselling session is personal to you, focusing 100% on you which gives you a unique experience.
The Reality – Sometimes we think strength is about keeping everything in and not being effected by difficulties, in which case seeing a counsellor is a sign that we have been ‘strong’ too long. However it shows enormous strength to face problems and try to improve ourselves/our lives. Counselling is a positive step towards helping yourself.
The Reality – Sometimes people come to counselling when they are in crisis, when they have been struggling on on their own until they cannot cope anymore. However, that isn’t always the case. Some people realise that they are trapped in negative cycles and want to make changes, some people just need a few sessions to gain clarity about a specific issues, and some people want to lay ghosts to rest. There are lots of reasons people choose counselling, it is a very positive step to take.
The Reality – Well – no! Counselling isn’t about having a chat over a cup of tea! I do listen, of course. I really listen to what your problems and worries are, and I listen and focus on you for the whole session. I will work with you to identify the main issues you have, help you clarify your thoughts and feelings as help you identify what changes you wish to make. Being heard is important, but counselling is about much more than that.
The Reality – Professional counsellors do not give advice. I may give information, but don’t expect me to say whether I think you should do A or B. Its my job to help you explore issues, so you can make up your own mind about what you choose. You know yourself better than anyone else, and you know whats best for you, its my job to help you discover that.
The Reality – Well, yes and no. People that come to counselling find that they do change as outdated thoughts and patterns of behaviour are explored and rejected, and increased self esteem, confidence and better communication skills enhance your life. However, you are you – a unique individual, and counselling is about celebrating that – encouraging you to accept yourself for who you are.
The Reality – We all go through difficulties from time to time in our lives, and often the support of friends and family can help us to get through it. However sometimes we may not feel able to turn to them – we don’t want to worry them, or worry we may be judged, or that they won’t keep a confidence. Or we may feel alone and unheard. Counselling offers a safe, confidential, non judgmental place for you to talk freely about whatever and whoever you want.
The truth is, counselling is purely about having time devoted to helping yourself, for whatever reason. Life can be difficult sometimes, and at these times working with a friendly, down to earth and professional counsellor can be invaluable. I can help you to look at things from a different perspective, help you understand what’s happening for you. Look at things you may be able to change and accept those you aren’t. If you are caught in a cycle of repeating bad habits and behaviour then therapy will help you to understand how this is happening and change these aspects of your life.
It’s very important that you feel comfortable with whichever counsellor you choose as it’s the quality of the relationship you have that is important – all counsellors are different and have different personalities, styles and approaches.
So don’t let myths about counselling prevent you from getting help.
I work with people just like you, so don’t struggle alone, ring me on 01522 704935 or email for an appointment – jane
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.