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In modern-day society, everyone is tucked up with one task or the other which can be overwhelming and can lead to anxiety, depression, and other stress related disorders. To combat these negative experiences, Counselling can be a great aid. But do you know What is Counselling?
In this blog, you will learn What is Counselling and how it can support a person's emotional and mental well-being and is invaluable in everyday life.
Table of Contents
1) What is Counselling?
2) Types of Counselling
3) What is the process of Counselling?
3) Skills required for Counselling
5) Benefits of Counselling
Counselling is a confidential and client-centred process which involves offering emotional support and guidance to individuals facing personal, psychological, or behavioural challenges.
A Counsellor encourages clients to discuss their problems and any difficult feelings they are experiencing. This offers an opportunity for clients to share their views and gain a fresh perspective on their circumstances. Counselling sessions take place in a comfortable environment and are kept confidential. The Counsellor's role during the session is to identify the primary cause of the issue and create an action plan to resolve the problem and help the person cope with it. There are several ways in which a Counselling session can be conducted. These are as follows:
a) In-person: An in-person Counselling session takes place in Counsellor’s office, where the Counsellor and clientinteract face to face. This is among the most popular formats of Counselling.
b) Telephonic Counselling: This format of Counselling session is conducted over the phone which offers flexibility for those with busy schedules or for individuals who are unable to visit the Counsellor's office due to time constraints.
c) Online Counselling: This format of Counselling is growing in popularity as it can provide anonymity to clients. People who struggle with social anxiety can also follow this type of Counselling to help them get their anxiety under control. Individuals can specifically choose the issues they wish to discuss from the comfort of their homes, and also maintain anonymity. This gives them a sense of control.
d) Group Counselling: These sessions are designed to collectively address the issues of a group of individuals. This type of Counselling allows people to meet with others who are facing similar problems. This collaborative effort provides them with a sense of support and understanding.
There are several types of Counselling, each tailored to different areas of need. Counsellors specialise and train accordingly. Here are a few of them:
a) Career Counselling: This approach focuses on providing career guidance to aspirants in any field, leading them onto the right career path. A Career Counsellor assesses the person's personality, aptitude, and interests to suggest a suitable career path.
b) Relationship Counselling: Also, commonly known as Couples Therapy, people seek this type of Counselling for various reasons, including strengthening their relationship with their partner, resolving issues emerging from disagreements, or addressing unhealthy relationship patterns. A Relationship Counsellor guides couples towards cultivating a healthy and long-lasting relationship.
c) Individual Counselling: In this type of Counselling, Counsellors and clients discuss the problems in a one-on one session. This type of Counselling is highly personalised. A strict client and Counsellor confidentiality is maintained to protect the client’s interests. In these one-on-one sessions, individuals can express their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and all other issues bothering them. The Counsellors work with their clients to figure out solutions according to the individual's needs.
d) Family Counselling: This type of Counselling involves sessions where individuals from the same family come together to resolve their conflicts and improve communication. In these sessions the Counsellors focus on building strong bonds among family members.
e) Group Counselling: These sessions are provided to individuals who are going through the same problems. Mainly these sessions are conducted with victims of accident, or trauma and even people who are suffering from addiction problems.
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Counselling is a delicate process, as it involves individuals dealing with serious issues related to Mental Health, emotional difficulties, or family problems. The Counselling process incorporates a systematic approach to identifying the problem and providing a suitable solution without rushing the client and always ensuring their comfort. Below are the five stages of the Counselling process:
a) Relationship building: The first stage of Counselling involves a Counsellor building a warm relationship with the client. Since the focus is to resolve the personal issues of the client, Counsellor must first make the client comfortable. Developing mutual trust helps the client to speak about his/her problems without hesitation.
b) Assessment: In the second stage, the Counsellor encourages the client to speak about their problems in detail. This enables the Counsellor to identify the root cause of the problems. During the session, the Counsellor observes every detail, such as the manner in which the problem is being described and the client's reactions.
c) Goal setting: After evaluating the client's problems, the Counsellor's focus shifts to setting a goal with respect to each issue. The aim here is to establish an approach towards finding a solution to the problem.
d) Plan of action: The fourth stage involves the Counsellor setting a plan of action for the client to follow. The Counsellor provides certain tasks to practise, which allows the Counsellor to evaluate their client's improvement over a period. Based on the results, the Counsellor decides to take the session to the next stage or to design a different approach.
e) Overcoming the problem: This is the final stage of Counselling. Based upon previous stages of Counselling, if the results are positive, the goal of Counselling is achieved. However, if the problem isn’t resolved entirely, the Counsellor may choose to continue the sessions with the client's consent. Moreover, the client may choose to come back to the Counsellor as and when they feel the need.
Professional Counsellors possess certain skills that enable them to effectively handle clients who are dealing with Mental Health problems. The main skills required by a professional Counsellors are:
a) Effective listening: A Counsellor is a patient listener, which enables them to handle clients' issues delicately. Without hearing the problems in detail, it becomes difficult to identify the root cause of the issue. Therefore, effective listening becomes a vital skill in the Counselling process.
b) Effective communicator: The process of Counselling requires Counsellors to listen, analyse, and design action plans to achieve goals. Good Communication Skills are essential to make clients feel comfortable and to carry forward with the Counselling process.
c) Analysis: Apart from being good listeners and communicators, Counsellors are skilled at analysis. The analysis is a crucial part of the Counselling process to identify, examine, and suggest a suitable action plan to assist the client. Without proper analysis, Counselling would not yield satisfactory outcomes.
d) Non-verbal communication: Counsellors must be adept at their non-verbal communication. Their body language and personality convey a lot of information, especially when they are with clients. Counsellors need to be aware about these signals so that clients in any way should not feel threatened or uncomfortable.
e) Problem-solving skills: Counsellors may face a lot of different problems given the dynamic nature of their clients. Every problem requires different solutions. Hence, they need to be updated with latest ethical and cultural norms, think creatively and outside the box.
Taking up Counselling to help resolve your problems has many benefits. Let's look at a few of them in detail:
a) Opportunity for self-exploration: Although the primary objective of Counselling is to resolve Mental Health problems, it also provides an opportunity for self-exploration. A Counsellor helps you learn about aspects of yourself, such as your personality, values, and beliefs. This presents an opportunity to gain insight into your own self and the role you play in the problems you are facing.
b) Improvement of self-esteem and confidence: A Counsellor assists in highlighting the positive traits of your personality. Many of us harbour certain insecurities related to our appearance, personality, or abilities. Such perspectives on our own selves can hinder our ability to focus on the positive traits we possess. Counselling provides the opportunity to concentrate on these positive attributes, which in turn can lead to improved confidence and self-esteem.
c) Finding purpose: For individuals facing an existential crisis or experiencing a loss of identity, Counselling can help find purpose in life. By exploring a person's values, beliefs, and interests, Counselling aids in discovering a sense of purpose and meaning in life.
d) Enhanced expression and management of emotions: Counselling helps in expressing and managing emotions in a better manner. By learning about the triggers, coping methods, and emotions, Counselling teaches you to handle emotions in a healthy way.
From this blog, we hope that you understand What is Counselling and its importance in life. Whether you are suffering from any Mental Health disorders or not, Counselling sessions can help you to understand and process your emotions, feelings and thoughts in a positive way. Opening up to your Counsellor will help you to cope with any negative or unfortunate situation that you may be going through.
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