Update: 09 Sept 2020. Although this blog post is still relevant, it was posted in 2010 and the following links maybe more helpful –
Counselling is a talk therapy and many people gain great benefits from being able to openly and safely explore their inner world. Gaining a greater understanding and self awareness can often be the first steps towards making positive change or experiencing your world in a better way.
We are unique and as individuals we are the greatest experts on ourselves as only we know how we feel about any specific subject or in any given situation. No one can tell us how we’re feeling or what we’re thinking even though people will often try to guess our thoughts and feelings. When this happens, it’s usually the other person trying to project their own thoughts and feelings onto us.
Counselling aims to help the individual find their own way forward and allow them to be their authentic self. Often we can get caught up in what’s expected of us or how society dictates we should be rather than ensuring our own personal needs are met.
People come to counselling for a number of reasons such as – To offload their thoughts and issues, to solve a specific issue, to improve their current circumstances, to cope better with life, to explore their inner selves, to cope with anxious thoughts and feelings, to gain greater self awareness, to improve their relationships with others, to move forward if they are feeling stuck, to find out who they are and many many more.
Talking openly in a safe environment can help you begin to piece together the parts of you that are most important and it can allow you to become more self aware. For example, there may be times when we display unwanted behaviours as a way of protecting ourselves. By being aware of our defence mechanisms and what triggers them, we can begin to live in a happier and more balanced way by not allowing these behaviours to develop.
Added awareness can often lead to us wanting to make positive changes and sometimes, the very smallest of change can have great effects. For example, being aware of the tone you use when talking to others and understanding the likely reaction you receive can allow you to alter this and observe the difference this makes.
By talking, it allows you to process more clearly and deeply. By having a professional with you, it can allow you to look at things you may be missing, take on board a different view point and allow you to delve deeper beneath the surface.