Now. The second big decision. Who am I going to see? Here are 10 ways to help you choose who the best counsellor for you is.
- Your counselling session needs to be all about you and only you. If your therapist starts to disclose too much personal information, then you’re wasting your time and money. As a general rule, the ratio of who is speaking the most is ideally 80/20. You being the 80% the counsellor 20%. This may not apply if, during a session, a counsellor believes psycho-education may be helpful. That means the counsellor decides to provide an explanation or, educate you about what you may be experiencing and how knowing that may increase self-awareness and understanding. Either way, the focus still is 100% on you.
- Your counsellor needs to be very clear about how you can be helped and the manner with which this will be achieved.
- Your counsellor collaborates with you and is not a dictator. A counsellor needs to be open to your feedback and willing to make changes to the counselling process to suit your needs.
- Your counsellor is not your friend. Your counsellor is a paid professional contracted to work with you. The aim is to help you understand your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and how they may be contributing to your unique circumstances. Your counsellor can help you make decisions, but should not make decisions for you.
- You need to feel comfortable with your counsellor, safe in the knowledge that a non-judgemental, objective stance is taken on the issues you’d like to discuss.
- The job of your counsellor is to become redundant in your life. There needs to be an end in sight of the work you do together. The counsellor needs to clearly articulate what you’re working towards in collaboration with what you want to achieve.
- Your counsellor needs to be qualified at degree level and registered with a professional association, adhering to their code of ethics.
- Your counsellor needs to make clear their availability to you. Are they able to be contacted between sessions, how quickly will they respond and how much time they will be able to give you?
- Your counsellor will regularly attend supervision. Supervision is the process used by counsellors to review cases and receive feedback. It is also the means whereby a counsellors practice is challenged and made accountable for the support they provide to their clients. To maintain ongoing membership with a professional organisation, supervision is a must.
- One of the best forms of training for a counsellor is to have been a client. Counsellors who have gone through their own healing process are better equipped to notice personal responses and reactions. There by making a distinction between what is theirs and what is yours. This allows them room to focus on you in a greater capacity. Plus, the counsellor is very aware of the process needed to achieve healing in their own lives. More importantly, they know what’s possible, sustainable and practical. Many times, the most effective ‘healers’ are ‘wounded healers’.
Need to speak to someone? Phone Rita on 0433 043 102 to make an appointment today. Phone and Skype sessions are available.
Help available by downloading a FREE copy of my First Aid Kit to soothe a hurting heart and mind – 5 ways to feel loved and lovable again