Counseling is a talking therapy in which a trained therapist listens to you and helps you find ways to deal with mental and emotional issues in your life. It can be daunting to find a counselor and go through the process of therapy, especially if it’s your first time. Finding the right person from the many different types of counselors, and opening up to them can be overwhelming. It’s important to get informed and be realistic about your expectations before beginning the counseling. Knowing what kind of challenges lie before you will help you prepare for them. Dr. Philip Glickman is a psychologist who can help you deal with mental and emotional traumas, and improve the quality of your life.
In preparation, the first step is to identify the reasons why you’re seeking counseling. Understand what makes you want to seek treatment so that it can be used to match you with the right counselor. Common reasons to seek counseling include depression, stress and anxiety, interpersonal difficulties in romantic relationships or family, grief, identity questions, and suicidal thoughts or self-harming behaviors.
Try to be clear about your objectives before seeking counseling. Identify the reasons why you need help, which can encompass negative events and feelings. Be realistic about your expectations. Working with a counselor will not solve all your problems, rather, it will build coping skills that will help you handle challenging situations. The goals can be as simple as not wanting to feel sad anymore or breaking free from certain habits, and abusive relationships, among others.
Types of Counseling
There are different kinds of counseling available depending on the problem you have. They include group, family, couples, and individual counseling. Understand early what problem you need to be solved to help you identify the kind of counselor you need.
The most common form of therapy is individual therapy. Here, you are the focus of each session and you and the counselor meet one-on-one. This type of counseling is suitable for people who need continuous monitoring to assess progress. It’s ideal for people suffering from chronic psychological disorders such as depression, bipolar, OCD, and trauma.
Group therapy is helpful in building learning skills. Here, less attention is given to the patient and more time is devoted to learning coping skills, practicing them and implementing them throughout the week. Family therapy is ideal for situations where the family has a big role to play in recovery, for example, eating disorders, or drug rehabilitation. Couples often seek therapy together, as well as separately depending on the kind of problem they have. They seek help when they feel a significant strain on their relationship. Lastly, religious counseling can be helpful for people who want to follow a certain path rooted in spirituality.
Ensure you attend the first session. Showing up is usually the scariest part of being counseled. During the first session, most of the time goes into answering questions such as birth and childhood history, early childhood development, mental health history, drug use, your symptoms, the reason for seeking counseling and formulating a treatment plan. Many counselors will prepare you ahead of time, by having you fill out some paperwork that outlines such information. The counselor will also describe his or her role in the treatment, and the techniques they may use. They can also help you develop goals.