All about Counselling and Psychotherapy by Jenny Hartill
There are many counsellors around, but what do we actually do? Here, I hope to point out and dispel a few myths about counselling:
Counselling and Psychotherapy is effectively the same thing. Therapists are trained to listen to your worries and problems and help you understand better what’s happening. Then we support you in finding new coping mechanisms that allow you to deal with life in a much more positive way.
In my experience, the three main reasons people feel trepidation about seeking therapy are the following:
- “I will be judged”. There is an “old school myth” about psychotherapists that we are clones of Sigmund Freud who sit on their high horse with a clip board staring down in judgement at the client.
- Bad previous experience. This tends to happen when a client has seen a counsellor that was about as empathetic as Darth Vader.
- “People will think I’m weak” – they’ll be judged, people will think they’re in-sane, they’ll be ostracised by society and nobody will want to talk to the nut-nut in the corner.
Firstly, there are many types of therapist. I’m an Integral therapist, meaning I use various therapies to suit the client. Therapists aren’t here to judge, we’re here to help, to educate and most importantly to support. In my experience most counsellors are wonderful, caring people who genuinely love their job and want to help.
Secondly, yes there are “bad” therapists out there, like there are “bad” mechanics and “bad” doctors. However, there are many, many excellent therapists out there that could help you change your life for the better. Don’t waste your time and money on a naff therapist, get out there and find a great one! All therapists should be fully insured and have a supervisor that they see every month to ensure they’re working to the best of their ability. They should also be a member of an organisation like The National Counselling Society or BACP.
Thirdly, seeking therapy is absolutely NOT weak. Admitting and then choosing to deal with your problems can be an incredibly brave move. You’re not a “psycho”. Counsellors deal with neurosis not psychosis. Too many people suffer in silence, too embarrassed to seek help. If anyone does tease about seeking therapy, usually it’s because the very thought of them being brave enough to deal with their issues is too scary a prospect to consider.
On a personal note, I myself had an anxiety disorder and sought counselling. I know how it feels to be scared and confused, I begun with thinking I was losing my mind, or that there was something physically or mentally wrong with me because I certainly didn’t feel “normal”. I remember wondering if I was over reacting, did I really need counselling? You know what, yes I did and it changed my life. I re-trained to be a therapist because I realised after having therapy myself that I wanted to help people who really need it. For me, counselling is a vocation rather than just a job.
Hopefully this article has been of help, if you need any other info or help please visit www.chelmsfordtherapyrooms.co.uk