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A few instant thoughts that unsettle most of the people when they hear the word counselling or therapy comprise of “I can resolve my concerns myself why should I talk to someone who knows nothing about me”, “Will I be perceived as insane or psycho if I consult a therapist”, “What if my colleagues at work get to know about my counselling visits that will tarnish my image at work” etc. Working as mental health professionals’ one major challenge we face today is that of clearing the myths about seeking help. Maybe the hesitation persists because there are a few dilemmas that are yet to be addressed. Let us help you understand the need, benefit and intricacies of a counselling process better.

What is Counselling and why do we need it?

Counseling is a talk therapy that allows a person to share his/her difficult feelings and problems in a confidential environment.

A need for counselling arises when anyone, no matter what age, gender or cultural background struggles with any personal concern ( family discord, marital difficulty, relationship issues, work difficulty, loss, identity, parenting or self-related concern like anger, assertiveness, low self-confidence and the like).

A counselor is not there to advise or direct on matters that bother a person. The whole idea of counseling is to EMPOWER individuals through rationalizing of thoughts & feelings. Hence a counselor will encourage you to share in a safe and confidential environment, will listen to you intently, understand why you feel a certain way and then help you identify negative thought patterns and replace them with positive thoughts. You will discover coping mechanism and identify plan of action to address your concerns.

When a person wants to explore in depth the way he/she reacts, behaves and feels about such concerns, counselling offers a safe space to find a resolve.

It is a relief sometimes to be true to ourselves and ask for help rather than suffer alone in silence.

Is it really effective?

A wide range of distress can be treated through counselling therapy.

It increases the likelihood of making healthy life choices and offers benefits through collaboration between client and psychologist.

However, in real life effectiveness of therapy depends upon genuineness, trust building and willingness to make a change in sessions.

How Can it help “Me” & other areas of life?

Research shows 80% of individuals who seek therapy belong to the age category of 21-50 years old.

Simply put, counseling helps you “sort out”. Here’s how:

It can help YOU

  • Self-Growth- Personality factors such as confidence, self-esteem, assertiveness, anger and building resilience need a therapeutic alliance to understand oneself better and deal with core concerns. Research states 80% of experience improved self confidence with a help of a life-coach.
  • Coping- Various life situations like loss of a loved one, end of a relationship, or loneliness associated with moving out from a city or college need effective coping techniques.
  • Mental illness & Support- Depression, PTSD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Alcohol & substance abuse are the major mental illnesses across the globe. While some of these require psychiatric or clinical intervention, a counselor can provide supportive psychotherapy.

It can help YOUR Relationships - Whether you’re trying to move on after a sour relationship or build a healthier relationship with your significant other, family or children; communication is of paramount importance and a life coach can help you identify negative communication and adopt healthy communication skills.

It can help YOUR Career - 2 out every 5 professionals across the globe have emotional health concerns. Evidently, professional life is getting more stressful by the day. Whether you are working for someone or running your own venture, stress grips one and all. A life coach can help you in maintaining better work-life balance, overcome fears and anxieties, deal with difficult people at work and unleash your true potential.

It can help YOUR health- Research shows a direct correlation between mental & physical well being. Stress impacts our health in more ways than we can imagine. Inadequate sleep, pacing heart, asthma and major illnesses like Coronory Heart Disease and other heart related concerns are linked to elevated stress levels. Coaching and Therapy for day to day stressors can help in preventing a lot of health issues

Some people want to address all their issues like how to parent better or how to quit smoking.While the others wish to make a slight improvement in their lives by honing certain skills of being more mindful in relationships.

The tenure of therapy is based on the intensity of concern and the individual’s propensity towards change. Therefore, benefiting in all areas of life through counselling is real and possible.

References:-

The Heart & Soul of Change: What Works in Therapy. Edited by Mark A. Hubble, Barry L. Duncan, Scott D. Miller, 1999. ISBN 155798557X. American Psychological Association

Burlingame, G.M., Fuhriman, A., & Mosier, J. (2003). The differential effectiveness of group psychotherapy: A meta-analytic perspective. Group dynamics: Theory, research & practice, 2, 101-117. DOI: 10.1037/1089-2699.7.1.3

Building a Coaching Culture (2014) http://coachfederation.org/about/landing.cfm?ItemNumber=3674&navItemNumber=3675

Shedler, J. (2010). The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 65, 98-109. DOI: 10.1037/a0018378

Kovacs, A. H., Silversides, C., Saidi, A., & Sears, S. F. (2006). The role of the psychologist in adult congenital heart disease. Clinical Cardiology, 24, 607-618.

World Health Organization (2013). Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs317/e n/index.html

Vessey, J. T., & Howard, K. I. (1993). Who seeks psychotherapy? Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 30(4), 546-553.




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