Perhaps you have been thinking about seeing a counsellor for a while. Some days you feel really low or agitated or angry or trapped and feel like you need to speak to someone right away. Then the next day you feel okay and the thought of setting up a first appointment with a counsellor goes away. But the issues that made you feel emotionally and physically weary are still there and you inevitably return to the pain of it all.
Feeling apprehensive about seeing a counsellor for the first time is common. It can be hard to accept you might need help. Asking for help can make the problem seem more real…you can’t pretend it’s all okay so easily.
If you’ve not had counselling before you may have questions about what it involves. You may feel uncertain about committing your time and energy to see a counsellor when you don’t know much about counselling and whether it will help. We may ask, ‘do you think I need counselling?’ It’s difficult to answer this.
A better question may be, ‘could I benefit from trying counselling?’ Many people, whatever their situation, have found counselling extremely helpful. It tends to be more useful, more effective and more successful if you have chosen to come because it feels like the right thing for you.
Counselling might be beneficial for you if:
- Something has been troubling you over a period of time and you’re having difficulty finding a solution on your own
- Things are affecting your well-being. For example: depression, anxiety, stress, addiction or more than one of these things at the same time.
- You find it hard to talk to friends or family because they are directly involved in the issues
- Issues from the past are having an impact on your day to day life
- Things that are troubling you are having a negative impact on your relationships or work
Counselling can help you make sense of difficult life events and find a way to move forward. Some benefits are:
- Privately and confidentially talking with someone neutral, outside of your immediate situation, can offer you a different perspective and help you find a way forward
- Talking with a trained counsellor who is skilled at listening and personal change and transformation can help you to process difficult thoughts and feelings
- Sharing your worries helps you feel less alone with the problems of life
- You can gain a better understanding of yourself and a clearer sense of what you want and need
- You can practice communicating more clearly and honestly in the safety of the counselling relationship
- Counselling can help improve your relationships and your ability to communicate
If you’re still not sure, the best way for things to become clearer is to book an initial session with a counsellor. That way you can find out more about how counselling works and the counsellor can help you decide if it would be useful for your particular situation.