You probably expected me to say that, but I honestly believe it to be true. Let me explain.
Counselling is generally undertaken when someone meets an emotional roadblock in their lives; stress in the workplace has led you to feel anxiety or depression, for instance, or a bereavement has deeply affected you, or perhaps an addiction is interrupting your life and the lives of those around you.
We typically consider entering into counselling when we perceive there to be a problem.
A counselling can be more complex and nuanced than my next statement but, generally speaking, counselling is an investigation into who you are. Emotional problems arguably arise when we feel unequipped to deal with the feelings, when we’re not sure what resources we can call on, when we aren’t sure who we are.
I say everyone can benefit from counselling because, I believe, everyone can stand to learn more about themselves.
Through application of psychotherapy theories we can come to a better understanding of what affects us and why and, with increased understanding of ourselves, we are equipped with tools to deal with such problems differently. Learning more about yourself now would help in navigating the problems which could come tomorrow.
There are thousands of self-help books out there which prescribe techniques and processes that can change your thinking and address your feelings and these books can be useful; I’ve tried some myself and recommended them on. You could also try the text books I studied in my training; I found the works of Melanie Klein, Ernesto Spinelli, Irvin Yalom, Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud all very useful in understanding more about myself. Reading these authors may well arm you with enough understanding such that you can navigate past the next emotional roadblock yourself.
Counselling, however, does offer something more than reading alone, I believe.
Whether you’re happy to admit it or not, your perception of your Self and the world around you will be skewed by judgements and prejudices, misapprehensions and incomplete understandings. Some of these limitations will be especially difficult to identify and accept as they will be tied to strong emotions and psychological defences which, for most all of your life, you’ve relied on in order to survive. It would take someone capable of sensitivity and in whom you’ve built trust to point out these limitations and, if they know anything about emotions and psychology, they might be able to offer a route beyond those limitations.
There can be something very powerful and affecting in speaking about your most private thoughts and feelings and knowing that the listener is capable of understanding you. Counselling can offer a type of interpersonal meeting that is incredibly rare and, from listening to many people over the years, I can say it is a meeting that many of us yearn for.
So, I stand by my answer: could you benefit from counselling? Yes.
Feel free to add your comments.