Approaching someone for help can be intimidating but it can be an important first step on your road to recovery. Counsellors are there to help and will work through experiences and ideas with you to help find a way forward. Here are a few tips for making the most of your counselling sessions.
Keep a diary
It's a good idea to keep a record of thoughts and feelings that are recurrent or feel particularly important. Write a list of anything you feel you would like to talk about with your counsellor and take it to your sessions to jog your memory if necessary.
If your counsellor says something you don't understand or if you want to know more about a particular therapy, ask questions. Your relationship with your counsellor should be mutual and cooperative. If you disagree with your counsellor about a situation or feeling, tell them, do not be afraid to question them and try to engage in genuine conversation.
Don't worry if your counsellor takes notes
Your counsellor may take notes during sessions. Don't be put off by this, it will generally be a way for them to fix events or topics you are discussing that they may wish to return to later. It can be a helpful part of the process to ensure that they have all the information they need.
Ask About the Duty of Care
Counsellors are bound by a duty of care. Ordinarily, they are unable to disclose any information to a third party without your consent. However, if they believe that you are at serious risk of harming yourself or another person, they are obliged to inform the appropriate care service.
Be as truthful as possible
The more honest you are with the counsellor, the more you will get from the sessions. Although some things may be difficult to talk about, be patient and push yourself to be as truthful as possible. Your counsellor should support you to express as much as possible of what you feel but if you are having trouble saying something, don't worry.
Change counsellors if necessary
It is important to feel comfortable with your counsellor. This may not happen at first but, after the first few sessions, you should feel that you are able to be open with them. If you don't seem to be gelling with your counsellor or you are afraid or insecure about speaking with them consider changing to a new counsellor. Everyone is different!
If you have further questions, contact a counsellor for information and advice.