Does Counselling Really Work?

As a qualified practising, counsellor I guess I am biased on this topic. However, I do have first hand, evidential experience that counselling does work. I’ve been part of numerous people’ counselling journey’s that have shown me that it works. I’ve experienced counselling personally, as part of my training when becoming a qualified counsellor, so I have experienced change and growth as part of my journey too!

Honestly, counselling isn’t for everyone. I do feel this can also be argued against somewhat. My experience tells me that, the people who I’ve met (so far) who it didn’t suit, appeared to be people that weren’t wholly committed to the counselling process, or ready for counselling for whatever reason.

What’s counselling like?

Counselling is much like a lot of things in life – “you get out of it what you put into it”. One example I use to try and explain this is. Counselling can be like relationships with children – you get out of them what you put in. If your interaction(s) with a child are half hearted and inconsistent, showing little interest and don’t really care, my belief is that you will get very little in return. In fact, they will most likely return the favour and. If however, you are the opposite to that, you are showing interest in the child, interacting on a personal level, having a consistent positive approach to that child, you will (most likely) get that in return. They will want to share their experiences with you. It is such a privilege for a child to hold you in that regard and can be very rewarding.

What does it mean?

Correlating this to counselling is on that basis. If you don’t give counselling that commitment, for example; by perhaps regularly cancelling sessions, not being honest with yourself in the session or not really engaging, then you won’t get out of counselling the full potential of what is possible. Having that commitment, being open and honest (as difficult as it may be) is having control. It is highly likely you are then mixing the right ingredients so that you can begin to change the way you feel about yourself and your problem(s).

Counselling does not tell you what to do

Therapy can help you be the person you want to be. This can be a very positive influence on how you feel about yourself, which ultimately results in new behaviours and a decision making ability that you feel confident in. Counselling is not about someone else telling you what to do. It is not advice giving. It is a safe space to explore and grow. Creating clarity and confidence and ultimately, having control over yourself and your life. Think of it as a journey of personal development.

I often say that counselling can feel somewhat counter intuitive, because you can tend to feel worse before you feel better, but that’s part of the process. Always feel free to talk to your counsellor about this. Explore this in a session, don’t let it stagnate then put you off or drive you away.

Start your personal development journey

Counselling can be a life changing experience. If you give it the commitment, be open, honest, show courage and be willing to look at yourself in a way that you have probably never done before. I believe it works, and I believe it can be very powerful and rewarding with these ingredients.