Mental Health Mondays: Understanding The Counselling Relationship

Awareness surrounding mental health helping modalities is in a state of constant evolution. Slowly society is shedding the stigma, with it becoming the norm to seek out counselling to help achieve a strong state of emotional and mental health.

From my own experiences being on the 'client chair' to conversations I've had with those who still consider talk therapies 'fluff', I've discovered that there are many misconceptions about how counselling services really work. I hope some of the below points can provide a refreshing perspective on how counselling can benefit the mental and emotional health of yourself or someone you know.

Misconception: What if they tell me the wrong thing to do or feel?

Fact: We believe you are the expert of your life.

We are not here to tell you what to do. As the person living your life, we consider you to be the expert of it. Through objective conversation we can help you identify what tools and resources are available to you to navigate the challenges or circumstances you are experiencing.

Misconception: I'll be judged or blamed for my situation.

Fact: We provide non-judgemental and unbiased services.

We are not here to judge you. We are all human and have lived through undesirable circumstances at different stages in our own lives. We are here to provide the safe space for you to be honest to yourself and your values system - without imposing our own beliefs - in order to work with you on tailoring a plan specific to your needs to help you thrive in life.

Misconception: My private information might be shared.

Fact: We follow a code of conduct and ethics regarding privacy and confidentiality.

We are bound to work within a code of conduct and ethics (available to you), that prohibits the sharing of any information shared in session without your written consent. There are only three limitations to this by law: If your information is subpoenaed by a court of law, if the counsellor believes harm could occur to yourself or someone else or if you provide written consent to share selected information with another professional.

Misconception: I could be locked into therapy for ages.

Fact: We work with you to create a plan that suits your needs.

During the initial sessions, we spend the time getting to know you and your needs. We will discuss what goals wish to achieve in the counselling process (never our own!) and how we can create a plan to achieve this. Progress is gauged at various points throughout the plan as your progress and goals may change or vary. At any time, you can choose whether or not you wish to proceed with a notice period agreed upon in those first sessions.

Misconception: I've tried talking to a health professional. It didn't work.

Fact: Counselling is more than talk therapy.

While counselling can be predominantly talk based, there are many techniques that can help you on your journey to strong mental and emotional health. Pairing with the right health professional to create a strong professional relationship is critical to achieving your mental and emotional health goals.

I hope this helps clarify how we are here to help. If you have any questions, we look forward to being able to help you clarify your concerns.

Well wishes,

Claire @ The Health & Wellbeing Haven

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