In counselling, one of the most common problems that people might face is a lack of understanding about where private counselling can take them. That might sound off, but the challenge of progress in counselling is one of the reasons many people avoid it. They simply wonder what the long-term benefits of taking part may be; is it going to be worth their time?
If you would like to get around that problem, then we want to help you understand better why private counselling is such a powerful and gratifying experience. Getting over the issues that you face in life is a tough job; it often means being ready to make significant personal progress. It also means that you need to understand the main characteristics that can differentiate from any old therapy session and what a successful therapy session should entail. For most people who see progress in therapy, there are usually some very particular behaviours and attitudes taken.
By being able to spot and understand these characteristics, you should be much more likely to benefit from private counselling. If you want to get into private counselling and take the most from it, then we recommend you consider the following:
- Understand Your Aims. One of the most important things you need before entering into any private counselling program is a full understanding of what you wish to achieve. It must be quite specific. Simply ‘being happier’ or ‘making more money’ is not a valid enough reason. It has to be more clear, it has to be built around a pathway that you can actually succeed from. Stat your goals in a few key phrases and sentences. For example, say that you wish to become more open and communicative with your partner; why is that? Understand what you want from private counselling first.
- Set Goals as You Go. At the same time, you also need to have a pathway to progress that you Setting these goals is useful as it allows you to make sure that you have actionable goals that you can go for which will make a tangible difference to you today. It’s known as making sure that you can look at your progress towards reaching a goal rather than just a black and white result. if you are able to work on the skills your private counselling recommends, you’ll see better results than if you just looked at results alone.
- Speak for Yourself. A common problem with those who get little from their private counselling is that they spend a lot of time looking at what other people are doing in therapy. This is unhealthy and will make it very hard for you to overcome the problems that you face. Start by speaking for yourself and paying more attention to what you can do rather than what others do. Instead of spending a private counselling session talking about what someone else is doing to make your life worse, spend more time looking at what you could be doing instead.
- Work Outside of Therapy. A significant challenge with therapy is making it perpetual. When you walk out of that door, you don’t just forget about what went on and just go back to normal. If you do this, then any progress will be temporary and illusionary. Instead, spend some time looking at what your therapist is saying outside of the session. Applying the skills that they teach and talk with you about will be far more likely to help you overcome the issues that you face. It makes you more involved in the private counselling, allowing the work undergone to make a difference.
- Maintain an Open Mind. The worst thing you can do in a therapy program is walk in with a closed mind. Few things in life call for you to be quite as open as therapy. You have to fully appreciate that the challenges you face are going to be quite different from the norm. they are going to be quite jarring and will probably involve a lot of buy-in from you if you wish to get this right. If you keep an open mind, though, you are much more likely to get positive and lasting benefits here.
- Focus On Issues. By the same token as you need to look at yourself, you need to look at your own issues. Your counsellor is not here to just listen to you rant about colleagues and co-workers; they are here to help you solve the issues that makes ranting necessary. If you want to get more out of your time in therapy, then spend more time focusing on the issues. Taking actions, wanting to learn new skills and trying to work alongside your private counselling to solve the root cause of your problems is productive; shouting about your partner or your boss is not.
- Define the Problems. When you are talking to your counsellor, things like judgement are left for others. Here, you can just sit down and enjoy a relaxing conversation together which is likely to bare positive fruits. You need to remember that issues can be uniquely specific, and nobody in the room is going to judge you for giving ‘too much detail’ or whatever. You are here to get the help that you need to overcome your issues; you need to be ready and prepared to do that. There is no one key ideology that fixes every issue; accept that now, and therapy can offer you a lot more.
- Progress Is Not Straightforward. Also, you need to know that as time goes on your progress will stall. Some weeks you will make huge progress, and other times it can feel like you both spend weeks wrestling the same problem. Progress is not something that always goes in a straight line in therapy. Often, you need to go back to go forward. Don’t see a week where little or no progress was made as a waste of time or a regression. It happens, and it’s not something to be ashamed of or angry about. Private counselling is complex, and so is the path to success.
- Listen to Others. You will likely have people in your life who you can confide in that you have turned to a private counselling for support. If you do this, then you can usually make more progress by simply being able to talk about what you are learning and doing in therapy outside of the session. By letting someone know about what is going on and where you are with regards to therapeutic progress, you can usually make lasting progress and see genuine change in the results you get. They hold you accountable and make sure that you don’t stray from the path set in therapy.
Lastly, set out authentic goals and realistic expectations for what is to come. Many people get into therapy and expect a miracle to take place; it’s not quite so simple, sadly. Therapy is a personal process; some are done in a few sessions, others take years. Just be realistic and remember that you are trying to change a life perspective and a set of actions, thoughts and habits you have had for many years. That takes time, effort and a lot of patience to get where you wish to reach. Be sure to set that expectation accordingly.
Private counselling, then, is a unique and powerful tool. With the above ten traits, you should be much more likely to be able to both willingly engage in therapy and get the most out of it at the same time. There is no reason why you need to allow yourself to feel dominated or controlled by these problems. With the traits above explained, you can hopefully see why therapy can be such a useful tool.
So long as you arrive in therapeutic sessions with an attitude of wanting to learn and find a happier future, then you will get a huge amount out of private counselling.