Counselling Process, Types and Importance

Counselling is appropriate when you want to discuss your situation in privacy; feeling assured you will not be judged.  There are many conselling types and importance according to Issues.

Individual Counselling for Adults

Most of us reach some point when we feel distressed, anxious, confused, depressed, or frustrated about some situation in our lives. At times, clients may need simple support when they do not want to “burden” their family or friends. At other times, clients might want help in finding solutions to their issues.

Many clients say that having an individual therapist is like having an advocate for their best interests. Your individual counselor is there to discuss what is important to you, not what someone else thinks you should be addressing. A well-trained systems counselor will always keep in mind how your changes, decisions, etc. will affect the important people in your life. However, in individual counselling for adults, YOU are the focus.

The following are a few of the concerns that clients bring up with their individual counselor:

Relationship Issues

Talking privately with a counselor can help you sort out the best way to handle difficulties you may be experiencing in your relationships. In some cases, you may want to redefine boundaries in relationships, whether personal or professional. In other situations, you may need help in creating more closeness in your relationships.

Loss/Depression

Just about everyone experiences a sense of loss during some phase of their lives; career, children, parents, friends, marriage, health, relocation, etc. We often assume that we should be adapting to these losses easily. In reality, adapting to these losses can be difficult. Moving from one phase of the life cycle to the next always implies some sense of loss. Loss can lead to feelings of sadness and even depression.

Change/Anxiety

Sometimes as adults, we know that some kind of change is necessary. Identifying the needed change may be difficult. Figuring out what will make us happier can be a mystery. Change almost always has a certain amount of concurrent anxiety. Anxiety can be felt as excitement or fear. Fear can block the desired change. When sadness/depression is mostly about the past, anxiety can creep in to sabotage your future. Your counselor can help you identify strategies to understand and overcome your anxiety, allowing you to take the ACTIONS needed to pursue your desired changes.

Reducing Stress

Reducing stress can promote a happier and healthier you. Many medical doctors now encourage patients to get assistance from counselling/wellness professionals to reduce stress. The “mind-body” connection is now a fact. Oncologists, neurologists, cardiologists, rheumatologists, etc. have recognized that psychological and wellness routines can greatly minimize symptoms.

Couples Counselling

Couples counselling is appropriate when two people in an emotionally committed relationship, or marriage, want to explore and clarify their issues. Maybe the couple is unclear as to where they want the relationship to go. Often, after the beginning phase of a relationship, differences can lead to power struggles, communication problems, and a diminishment of emotional and/or sexual intimacy.

In couples counselling, the relationship is the client. It has been reported that half of the marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. It is probable that, at least, the same amount of viable committed unmarried relationships also end, perhaps unnecessarily. “Are we throwing away the potential for a loving and satisfying relationship without giving it the same amount of attention that we give our wardrobes or automobiles?”

Couples often request counselling at four major junctures:

  1. Often couples experience distress when they are about to deepen their commitment. They may have recently made a decision to: relocate to be closer to each other, move in together, get engaged, get married, or to have children. Any time a couple is getting ready to “up the ante” in the relationship, the anxiety goes up also. This is a time couples may want assistance in exploring whether this relationship has what each partner needs in order to take this next step.

  2. Another juncture when couples often request counselling is when the partners have finally shown all of their “true colors”. The party hats come off. Each is thinking, “This isn’t what I signed up for.” This can be a time of disillusionment and confusion. “How can we get this relationship on track?” Understanding, how “differentness” can be beneficial to each partner, becomes important.

  3. Couples also present when resentments, disappointments, and betrayals have gone unaddressed. There is often a serious diminishment of trust and positive intention. Power struggles and conflict seem to have taken them down a dark hole. Emotional and sexual intimacy may be taking a serious hit. These couples need repair. They need strategies for building a new relationship with each other.

  4. Finally, some couples enter counselling when the relationship is, “on its’ last leg”. They come into counselling as a last resort, wondering if anything can save their relationship. They present with feelings of anger, discouragement, and despair.

Couples Counselling Can Help

No matter what stage your relationship is in, couples counselling can offer hope of improving communication, developing empathy/kindness, and increasing the feeling of “We’re on the same team”. People in healthy partnered relationships live longer, happier, and healthier lives. You owe it yourselves to find out if this partnership can provide that for you.

Family Therapy

In all phases of the family life cycle, authentic communication and good boundaries are important for healthy family relationships. Sometimes as adults, we wish to improve our relationships with our older parents. However, in most instances, family therapy addresses situations with adults and their children/teens.

Family therapy is appropriate when parents notice their children and/or teenagers having difficulties in the family, with their peers, in their school environment, and/or with academic performance. Perhaps their children are having trouble adjusting to change. Sometimes parents are having difficulty guiding their children and teenagers toward desirable behaviors.

It is important for parents to understand the “task” of their child’s developmental stage. The brain is changing rapidly throughout childhood and adolescence. As the brain changes, the parents must adjust their expectations of their children.

Our younger children are usually more willing to talk to us but lack the cognitive schema and vocabulary to do so. Our teenagers are beginning to understand much of what they are experiencing. They often feel the need to keep their internal worlds private from their parents. This need for privacy may be necessary for them to begin to develop their sense of identity. At such a point, speaking with a family systems counselor can provide the teenager with the needed guidance for smart decision- making.

As parents, we need to embrace the difficult task of balancing structure, rules, and the necessary room for our children to continue developing.

Each of our trained family systems counselors has a slightly different approach to working with families.

Long-distance Counselling and Hypnosis

Long-distance counselling is offered online with individuals, couples, and families. It is appropriate when it is not convenient or desirable to meet, “in person”, at the therapist’s office. It is also possible to utilize this long distance format for hypnosis. Hypnosis has been described as a relaxed, hyper-suggestible state in which you can bypass your normal resistance and look for new habits, ideas, or behaviors. It is a state of intense concentration, focusing your attention on your inner resources.

Codependency Counselling

Codependency typically refers to people who are dedicated to helping/assisting others to the extent that they no longer take care of themselves. People who find themselves codependent in their present relationships may have been in, or witnessed, similar relationships during their childhood.

People in codependent relationships often have a difficult time standing up for themselves and saying “no” when they should. Counselling often includes learning to be more differentiated and having a stronger sense of self. Counselling can help clients who need to develop a strategy for balancing caring for others and simultaneously live their own life joyfully. We are not proponents of “tough love” and certainly not of cutting off people whom you love. We believe that with carefully crafted boundaries and firm positions which express the self, much progress can be made in these, sometimes difficult, relationships.

Historically, the term codependency has often been used to talk about family members and friends who are in close relationship with people who are addicted to substances and or alcohol. Many addiction programs have counselling and groups for the people who are, “addicted to helping the addict”. Often, private counselling can be helpful either on its own or to complement a more structured treatment program for these family members and friends.

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