Is it right for me at this time in my life?
It is important to have some understanding of the different services we can offer in order to make sure that you are directed to the therapy that is likely to have the most benefit. If you are reading this it is probably because you are considering whether counselling might be right for you at this time.
Counselling can provide a safe space to talk through and begin to understand what is troubling you and how best to manage it. It is somewhere where you can safely speak in confidence about all aspects of your experience including the areas that may have previously been silenced (please note: there are some exceptions to confidentiality where you or others may be at risk of serious harm or where there are child protection situations, for example). Counselling can provide an opportunity to work towards living your life in a way that is most meaningful and satisfying to you.
However counselling is a two way process in that the person accessing counselling needs to be ready to fully and actively engage in order for it to be helpful. Although a counsellor is unlikely to set tasks to be completed between sessions in the same way that a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist might, you do need to be able to, and have the time to;
Reflect upon and process what you have explored in sessions between sessions,
To be able to manage the often strong feelings and memories that can be brought to the surface,
And to think about what you want to focus on before you come to sessions.
There are also times when your counsellor may suggest some reading, activity, or self-help exercises that could be helpful for you.
It is therefore important to consider the following in order to decide whether counselling is right for you at this time:
Is this the right time for counselling? What makes it important to access counselling now?
Do you have the support and resources you need to be able to cope with the strong and deeper feelings that can be produced by focusing on difficult experiences? Or are you willing to work on developing these resources in order to be able to effectively use counselling?
Do you have current stresses in your life that mean developing better day to day coping strategies might be more useful at this time? Therefore would using SilverCloud online therapy or attending the Stress Control workshops better equip you with these skills at this point?
Do you use alcohol and/or drugs to manage your feelings? Getting support to reduce your intake and develop other coping strategies will be crucial in order to be able to make use of counselling.
The counselling service we offer is time limited to up to eight sessions and you may not need all eight. What would you like to have gained at the end of your sessions? What would be most useful to focus on? And how can you make the best use of the sessions?
If you have had counselling before what was most helpful? And was there anything you felt needed to be different? What would help you make the most of counselling in the future?
Further information about Counselling can also be accessed on the BACP (British association of Counselling & Psychotherapy) website ‘It’s Good to Talk’