Are you ready for counselling?

Counselling can really be helpful if you are worried about something, cannot understand why you feel a certain way or if you have strong unwanted feelings about something.  There are many, many issues that counselling can help with, and there are some things that we have to go through whether or not we are able to talk about it with someone like a counsellor; someone separate who listens effectively, without judging or jumping to conclusions and offers appropriate and helpful feedback.
Most people who come to counselling want to change something in their lives.
Counselling also aims to give you choices, so you can make your own mind up about things, how you feel about things or people, or what you want to do, or say to someone.  So many different things that talking to a professional and independent counsellor can help with. 
There is also the side of counselling that is educational.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for example seeks to help you change destructive or unhelpful ways of thinking about things.  The trouble is, we get used to thinking a certain way, and the habit is not only hard to break, but we don’t even know that we are doing it until someone listens and talks it through with us, offering different insights.  So there is a psycho-educational part to therapy, where we sometimes offer techniques and tips - but importantly, do not tell you what to do, more, providing insight into habits and thinking styles that have evolved over long periods, that control what you think you can do or not do.
However, Counselling should come with a health warning!  It can make you think about things in new and different ways, and that has to have knock-on effects that can be upsetting.  Also, raking over old issues that have often been buried for some time can raise your anxieties before they start to make more sense.
Sometimes people coming to counselling do not really 100% want to be there, or cannot see that anything they have done or the way they think about things has contributed to their situation - perhaps thinking that it's someone else or other, outside circumstances that have resulted in their situation.  This makes therapy really challenging as there is much to be gained from learning about taking personal responsibility - for the things that you can, and recognising things that really are beyond your control, and deciding what you want to do about them. 
Sooooo ... the other thing about embracing change is that it is bit like giving up smoking.  You have to want change or it just will not happen.  Oh... and changing means that things will be different.  Obvious I know, but, well, sometimes we forget! 
A counsellor can help you to explore things in new and really helpful ways, but ultimately, you get out of it what you put in.  You need to want to do it, and also it is really helpful if you are prepared to look at yourself in new ways, understanding your patterns of thinking and trying to think ‘psychologically’ about your issues.
Do not worry if this sounds complicated.  If you really want change, and are prepared to take on what is offered, whilst there are no guarantees of course, very often the goals of therapy that have been identified with your counsellor at the outset can be worked on extremely positively, with noticeable improvements in a short time.  Even simply talking about your worries has been proven to be helpful.  Therapists are experienced and professional and will always be gentle, empathic, and completely honest with you.
The counselling journey should mostly be a helpful, positive, and supportive experience that will help you see your issues in a different way, and hopefully empower you to make different decisions about things.
Choosing which therapist to go and talk to can be a difficult decision indeed (mostly because they have loads of unintelligible letters after their names) so have a good look at our helpful page, 'so how do I choose a therapist, tho...'.  Hopefully it will make much more sense of things.