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What Is Counseling?

client asks therapist what is counseling

By Angela Powell, MA, LPC-S

There are tons of myths and misperceptions about what counseling is, and these beliefs can impact our desire to seek out counseling services as a benefit to improving our lives. Counseling is a space for people to be able to gain a greater understanding of themselves and how they function in their world while working towards goals for improving overall well-being. People come to counseling for many different reasons ranging from:

  • Marital issues
  • Difficulty with social anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Feeling intense sadness
  • Having difficulty getting out of bed
  • Anger management issues
  • For help healing from past traumas
  • Understanding life changes
  • Coping with different phases in your life
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Attention issues
  • Behavioral problems

Overall, therapy is needed when life is overwhelming – you are not happy with how you are functioning mentally, spiritually, behaviorally, at work, or in relationships. Therapy is needed when others around you notice a change in how you respond to them, if you are getting irritable and do not know why, and if you feel like your life is not in balance. Counseling benefits everyone in different ways, but overall, the goals are to increase your well-being and to connect you back to what matters most to you in your life. This is done by first building a connection and rapport with your therapist, allowing for trust to form. As you become more open with your therapist, they can help reflect, guide, challenge, and support you in achieving your goals through many different therapeutic treatments. Each therapist has their own style and works from different theoretical bases to help you understand yourself and help guide you and get you where you want to be. 

What Should I Expect from Therapy?

To be welcomed and treated with kindness, compassion, and care as you work to build a relationship with your therapist and throughout your treatment. Most therapists do not have you lie down on a couch anymore. Instead, they will encourage healthy eye contact, verbal and non-verbal communication, and provide a space that is comfortable and safe. You may cry, laugh, have difficult conversations, get angry, and open up about things that you have never told anyone. This is your space to grow, to be seen, to be heard, respected, and treated. You are the one in control in therapy. The more you put into therapy, the more the therapist can help you and the more benefits you, in turn, receive from treatment. The therapist will have an overall plan of how to guide your care, but the rate of achieving your goals is dependent on how complex your concerns are and how much effort you put into yourself. As a result, therapy can range from a few months to a few years.

How Do I Get Started?

You get started by doing a little research. It is a big decision to enter therapy because it means that you are ready to make changes that you either have struggled to make, do not know how to make, or do not want to make but need to, all to help you live your best life. The choice of who you want as a therapist and who you feel comfortable with opening up to is up to you. Find someone by talking to friends, looking at websites and reviews of different therapists, and looking at therapists’ profiles. The person you choose should be someone you feel a sense of connection and trust with. Reach out to that therapist or their office to schedule, and do not forget to read the paperwork before you come to your first session. The first session with a therapist is about building rapport and the therapist working to understand who you are and the concerns you are having and determine if you and the therapist are going to be a good fit for treatment. Sometimes, it takes a few tries to find the right fit for you and your treatment, just like finding the right doctor for you. 

Reach Out to Connections Wellness Group Today and Learn What Is Counseling Like?

Connections Wellness Group offers counseling services tailored to your individual needs. Our professional, compassionate staff knows that one size does not fit all, so you will get the dedicated, personal treatment required to help you lead your best life. Deciding to go to counseling is a big step toward finding a happier life. Let us help you along the way. Call 940.360.4245 or contact us online to get started.