A wise person said that mental health is not a destination but a process, it’s about how you drive, not where you are going. We live in troubled times. While there’s no playbook that helps to navigate mental health challenges, there is qualified and professional help available that enables you to understand your emotions better and take charge of your holistic wellbeing. Whether you are going through depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or simply need some guidance in life, counselling can come to your aid.
However, for those who are leveraging psychotherapy for the first time, the process can be somewhat daunting. How does counselling work? What will be the benefits? If you have sought out counselling in Vancouver, chances are you may also have many questions on counselling and therapy. Here’s a deep dive into the workings of counselling and how it benefits your emotional health:
What is counselling?
Counselling is a type of therapy that uses talking and conversation, allowing an individual to talk about their problems and feelings in a reliable and highly confidential environment. Counsellors receive training to listen with an open mind and with empathy. They can help you deal with negative emotions and thoughts and also help you understand your own state of mind better.
What is counselling primarily used for?
Counselling also known as psychotherapy is highly effective for many mental health conditions including but not limited to:
– Chronic illness
– Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
– Eating Disorders
– Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
– Bipolar Disorder
– Grief and bereavement
There are many ways in which counselling is done, right from in-person meetings to online sessions to telephone calls. Typically, the individual who seeks counselling books an appointment with the therapist’s office. After the appointment is booked, the client is requested to share detailed information such as medical issues, history of mental health problems, family history and other data that might be relevant to the case.
Needless to say, all counsellors are highly trained and licensed to deal with the varying complexity of mental health conditions that plague us. The job of the counsellor is not to judge, no matter what you confide, but rather be a confidant and a partner in improving your mental health.
Benefits of Counselling
Decrease in depressive symptoms
Licensed psychologists use a number of approaches to help people recover from depression, especially those who are suffering from mild to moderate depression. Psychotherapy helps people with depression to understand life events that contribute to their depression and find ways to change, accept or adapt in those scenarios. It also helps individuals to develop skills to cope with the symptoms and identify future episodes of depression. Often therapists use cognitive behavioural therapy or interpersonal therapy to help patients cope with depression.
Improved quality of life
A counsellor provides a much needed opportunity to discover about yourself and gain better insight into your personality, values and beliefs. You can learn about what makes you tick and how you can manage your feelings better. Among other skills, you learn problem-solving, conflict resolution, improved communication and interpersonal skills. These skills lead to better wellbeing and effective management of thoughts and emotions that improve the quality of your life.
Changing disempowering beliefs/behaviours and habits
Often we are victims of our own habits, limit self-beliefs and behaviours. Counselling helps us to be more aware of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that are disempowering and revolve in an endless cycle of self-defeat. With this acknowledgement of self-defeating behaviours, we can consciously take action and regain control over our negative beliefs and actions to bring about a positive change.
Numerous studies and research have proven that counselling improves overall health and happiness, decrease in symptoms of anxiety, reduction in substance abuse, clarity of thoughts and behaviours among other benefits. Mental health should receive the same importance as physical health and counselling can often be the first step in our journey of healing.