Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes
A practical guide to counselling and how it could help change your life.
Editing: Yasmine Kartal
Chapter 1 Who needs counselling?
Counselling is one of many options open to you if you think you are lost, confused, struggling or unhappy. If you can’t solve a problem, feel stuck, overwhelmed, or have a problem that is stopping you from functioning successfully on a day to day basis then seeing a counsellor and sharing your troubles with them could be the difference you need to kick start your life back on track. Some of you may be feeling ‘out of sorts’, struggling in a relationship or with a member of your family or if you are suffering any form of abuse then it could be a good time to see a counsellor.
Chapter 2 Finding a counsellor.
Finding a counsellor can be a daunting task. You may have thought about seeking help but not known where to start the search and when you are feeling overwhelmed or fragile it can be even harder to think logically about the process.
Chapter 3 What to expect?
What you can expect on your first visit is the start of a professional supportive relationship. It’s often hard to know where to start so your counsellor may suggest talking about why you picked up the phone in the first place to make an appointment. It is the counsellor’s job to encourage, question and try and put the pieces of the picture together. Don’t worry if you seem to be all over the place – it goes like that at times! Professional counsellors will also understand that you may find yourself presenting all the bad stuff – after all, you haven’t come to your appointment to tell them about all the good things in your life!
Chapter 4 Making a commitment
Making a commitment may be achieved in a number of ways. However, without commitment to change the process will not work.
Your commitment might start by deciding that you are no longer prepared to stay in the current situation that is adversely affecting your life, and that you need professional help to sort it through.
Chapter 5 Changing your environment
Making changes to your environment is about taking a look at where you live and who you live with, your support network and how you live your life, bringing these all together and seeing how all these elements may be effecting your life. It’s also about taking stock of your physical self – your health and well being. This has an enormous impact on the way you feel, how you are able to cope, or look at life.
Chapter 6 Changing your emotional environment
To change your emotional environment first you need to be conscious of how you are truly feeling. You need to be aware of how you really feel rather than how someone else says you should feel. There are a number of ways you can identify your true feelings and a counsellor will help you to become more articulate about this. This is a challenge for many of us. Often we don’t ever think about our feelings, let alone talk about them!
Chapter 7 Making Spiritual Changes
This is a very personal issue and your response to it will very much depend on your culture, whether you have any religious beliefs or not and your up bringing. However this chapter is not about religion. It’s about inner spirituality and having a sense of place and how you fit in, or don’t as the case may be, with your environment and the world. We all need a sense of ‘fitting in’, and we all find that at different levels.
Chapter 8 Making Language Changes
Words are extremely powerful, both in those we choose to use and the way in
which we choose to use them. It’s not just the choice of words that can have an impact on others but also the tone and context within which we choose to use them that effects how we feel about ourselves and how others react and relate to us.
Chapter 9 Cognitive Changes
This is about changing the way you think, challenging, reaffirming or changing what you believe, about having a sense of your intellectual ability and how you might be able to use that.
Chapter 10 Monitor your progress
When you make changes in your life it involves an enormous amount of personal investment that may include time, energy, and money. It’s reasonable therefore to want to know what return you are getting for that effort and being clear as to the progress you are making, and the direction you want to continue to move forward.
Chapter 11 When to stop counselling
When is it time to stop? The client usually knows. When you start to wonder what you are going to talk about next and think of cancelling the appointment then it is time. Hopefully you are never rude enough to just not show up!
About the author
ABN: 149 179 453 75
© Spinks & Associates 2009