People often have different expectations for therapy, based on prior experience, reports from family or friends, or ideas in the media. As such, there are many preconceptions about what counselling is and what it entails.
Why might I need to come more than once?
We wish people could come in for one session and be ‘cured’ but that is unrealistic. Sometimes problems take years to develop, and as such they can take time to resolve. Counselling requires exploration of the issues at hand, and the time it takes depends on the nature of the problems or concerns. Once we know what the real underlying issues are, we can work with you to help you bring about change.
Why can’t I just talk to a friend?
After talking about the things that are bothering us, we can often feel better – for a while. However, talking rarely results in a fundamental change, and as such the same problems are likely to occur again and again unless we actively find the root cause and change it. A good analogy of this is that we all know how to exercise, but we do it so much better with a personal trainer.
What does a Psychologist/counsellor do?
A counsellor/psychologist is trained to listen and guide you through a process to help you resolve your issues and problems. We create a safe environment that helps you explore your problems and issues without judgement. Always remember, this is your life and your responsibility to change it – counsellors/psychologists cannot do this work for you. Your counsellor/psychologist can provide you with tools to help you change your life, but if you aren’t actively using these tools, you won’t get very far and begin to get frustrated with the therapy process. In addition a psychologist can diagnose mental illness and conduct clinical assessments, most insurance companies will reimburse psychological fees.
What is the difference between a Psychologist and a counsellor?
These terms can often overlap, however it is useful to know the difference between these modalities. The main differences often appear in the training. Psychologist training tends to be longer, and usually trained to deal with a variety of issues ranging from Schizophrenia through to Clinical depression. Counsellors on the other hand tend to deal more (but not exclusively) with life’s issues, such as relationships, stress and other everyday problems. Both are a way of interaction – between a Counselor or Psychologist on one side and the client(s) on the other side, with the goal to cause changes in feeling and behaviour of the client.
Why am I given homework?
We give clients homework depending on the situation. Homework can increase the effectiveness of your sessions, can solidify information given in session, and can speed up the counselling process.
Always make sure that if homework is given, you understand what is required, and write it down if you tend to forget. Please remember we give homework for a reason!
If it is any consolation, we do homework for you too. We write case notes in order for us to understand what is happening, and it gives us a chance to reflect on the session and identify any areas that need addressing that may not have been so obvious during the session
We also plan for your next session, so we can try and help you as much as we can.
How do i get the most out of therapy?
- Put in the time; turn up on time and keep regular appointments – make it a priority.
- Do your homework when asked; this will speed up your progress
- Journal during the week; this is a good way of logging any thoughts or feelings or questions
- Remember change requires work – it can be hard and painful at times, but the rewards are great.
- Be open and honest in session– remember, your lies won’t impress, and your truths won’t disappoint
- If you are feeling challenged by the work or the process is bringing up uncomfortable feelings, tell us!
- Be patient and gentle with yourself. Growth takes time, effort, and patience.
I’m worried that I’ll be judged for my thoughts/actions…
The Counsellors practice is based on a person-centred approach and is grounded in non-judgement and the recognition that life is not “black and white”. It is understood that each individual has their own perspective born out of a lifetime of experience. You will be made to feel comfortable in expressing whatever thoughts and feelings are present for you.
Are the sessions confidential?
What passes between the counsellor and client remains completely confidential. *There are a small number of areas where law demands that confidentiality be broken, but these are very few and will be explained in the first session.
Do I need to be unwell to seek counselling?
One of the great myths around counselling is that a person needs to be deeply unwell in order to seek it out. In the same way that one might see a personal trainer, attend a yoga class or undertake a meditation course in order to develop or maintain our physical health, so counselling and psychotherapy can be thought of as practices that help us to keep ourselves mentally and emotionally fit and healthy. Some people who come to couselling are deeply troubled, while other might simply be curious.
Might I be diagnosed with a mental illness?
our psychologists are very experienced practitioners, and are able to diagnose mental illness when it is present. Although labels are often not helpful in some cases a diagnoses can help ensure that the individual gets the appropriate care and help that they need.
Do I need to make an appointment or can I just turn up?
We work by appointment only. Since all our Psychologists, and Counsellors work different clinical hours and would usually already have other appointments scheduled, we need you to make an appointment to ensure that your Psychologist, or Counselloris available. We regret we will not be able to serve you if you do not have a prebooked appointment.
How do I pick a psychologist or counsellor?
What you would need to consider is whether the issue you are seeking help for is a fit with the Psychologist, or Counsellor’s area of speciality. Also, you would want to be able to come during most of the therapist’s clinical hours since you might not be able to get the exact time you want. Our admin staff will be able to assist you with the selection of a suitable Psychologist, or Counsellor.