18 Mar 2007

Counselling Information

Well as i still haven't found that textbook, i am moving on for the moment , but never fear i will be going to the library either tomorrow or after class Tuesday so will catch up with both sets of questions then.

So Today i want to ask some questions, if you don't mind.
I would like to know:
  • What do you think of counselling? past experiences good and bad? what worked? what didn't?
  • What would make you feel more comfortable about going to counselling?
I want to know this for two reasons.
  1. I think any information at this stage of my studies will help me become a better counsellor, you definitely have to be aware that people may have had bad experiences in the past or feel uncomfortable with the stigma attached to going to counselling.
  2. My tutor has recommended that we all go for some counselling sessions, this of course is only if we want to. I do want to go, but i am a little scared.
Basically i have posed these questions as a open discussion on peoples thoughts and feelings on Counselling. So anybody feel free to dive in.


  1. I've never been to a counselling session; I think I would find it difficult...maybe it's an "age" thing....until a few years ago the word "counsellor" equalled "psychiatrist" equalled "I'm a bit of a nutter" and a certain stigma would be attached...all very "hush hush" if someone in the family had to go to one...nowadays of course I know differently...but I wonder if other people of my age have been brought up thinking/feeling the same thing.
    I can understand you feeling nervous yourself but I think it would be important for you to be "on the receiving" end in order to fully understand how some of your clients would feel.

  2. We've been to marital counseling twice in the past 10 years or so.

    The first counselor was siding with my husband a bit much, so we didn't go back to him again! (haha)

    The next gentleman had a much better head on his shoulders (ie: took my side) so we did a return visit with him!

    All kidding aside, I did like the second guy much better because he posed questions that we both really needed to answer to each other. AND he didn't let either of us get away without answering properly and honestly.

  3. I think this world is lacking in real counselors. Remember most problems are self inflicted. Please when you counsel someone dont be afraid to give advice that actually works. And, whatever you do, do not become a christian counselor. It does'nt work! Can you tell what my experiences were like?


  4. I think counceling can be very rewarding and good if the councelor truly loves their job and wants people to get better. I've been to a therapist who fell asleep while I was talking, and then never returned my call. In effect, he dumped me.

    This seems silly, but having comfortable seating is important. I went to one where the couch was so deep that I was dreading getting up the entire time-so I wasn't focused. Then another had plastic on the couch and my ass was sweating the whole time.

    Not good.

  5. Never been, but if I were to go, "chemistry" would be of the utmost. Without a good rapport, dialogue,trust,even a glimpse into the mind/personality of the cousellor, I don't think it would work for me. Before dishing out my problems, I'd have to KNOW that I'd be met by a living person, not "just" a professional... You get my meaning?

  6. trust and competence are the most important things I can think of. I believe the way we see you reaching out, looking to find the right traits shows how seriously you take this responsiblity.

  7. Ya know Claire.. you should just fly me over there and you could use me for all your studies. :)

    Like Sgt said, trust is very important. Also being listened to. I've been to some that just seemed to be putting in their time so they could go home.

    In all my years of counseling/therapy I can say I've probably only had two that did me some good and that I felt a rapport with.

    I also had a male counselor cross the boundary line with me. Not good.

  8. The one and only time I have ever been involved in counseling was when our son was about 12. We let him stay home by himself and while we were gone he got out the pam and a lighter. No fire ensued, but our nylon carpet was melted a bit. More than anything, we were alarmed at his actions. When we got to counseling, they took us all into separate rooms and my counselor began asking me about my dating habits when I was younger, etc. I knew they were trying to see if I was a clinging mother because he was an only child. I wasn't. We left and never went back. Our son turned out fine and there were no more incidents with fire.

  9. If done properly its a gem. I had to go to mediation as part of my divorce . . the councellor was very professional & followed safety rules allowing me to leave before my estranged partner etc etc. In his final letter to my solicitor he advised that future sessions were pointless as my not-better-half acted unreasonable through out all discussions! Just confirming the need for the divorce really!

  10. Counseling has been both beneficial and harmful to me. A counselor who betrays confidences (when there is no legal or practical need to do so, but just to gossip) is intolerable. That was my first experience and it delayed my second for over 20 years. I find holistic counselors using a psycho-dynamic/humanist approach to be more effective that behaviorists.

  11. The only scary thing about counseling is the unknown -or- getting a counselor who thinks they are the know all and end all and see no gray.

    Counseling is only effective if the person being counseled is receptive and the counselor has enough empathy to truly understand, is open minded enough to think outside the box, and is both intuitive and grounded in the reality in front of them.

    I witnessed counseling of a child that seemed to be totally useless, but I personally learned something that effected a change in a key attitude and bettered one family relationship -- just watching life coaches on TV's Starting Over. Go figure.

  12. I've never been to counseling (and I'm sorry I haven't been visiting more often!), but I would like to go. I have so many unresolved issues with my upbringing, and just with dealing with people in general, that I think it could do me a world of good. The biggest problem I have is how to find one, and what sort I need to find in the first place. I tried just calling one I found in my insurance book, but I couldn't seem to connect. A friend gave me the number for someone she'd talked to in the past, but I lost the number. And I don't know my doctor well enough to just ask for a referral either. Bah.

  13. Thank you, each one of you!
    I will try and take on board each of the things you have mentioned.
    I am seeing that a lot of the counselors you have been too, have broken confidences and that is totally unacceptable. So thats one of the many lessons i am taking and storing in my grey matter.
    Sgt dub is right i am taking this seriously and its important i know as much as possible before i am let loose on the public.

    Seating is important Mags, its something i have thought about too, you certainly don't need that type of distraction.

    I am glad that some of you have had positive experiences and that counselling has worked.

    I definitely agree that you should only go for counselling if you really want to, nobody should tell you to go.

    For those that don't know much about counselling (me included), i thought i would explain the different types of counselling that i will be learning in future posts?
    What do you reckon?

    Hey Asara, no worries. Hopefully when i have a go at explaining the different types, that might help you out?

    Thanks again for everyone that contributed with their experiences it really does help me out!

  14. You're mist welcome Claire. You can always tell the behaviorists in the room. They feel compelled to ring bells whenever dogs salivate. :-)

  15. Hey tomcat, behaviorists do work for some people apparently? will be able to appreciate that statement more when i have learnt more!