How do I choose my counsellor?
In addition to checking out the counsellor’s qualifications and experience in the area in which you are seeking help, there are certain personal qualities that you might be looking for in a person you seek help from. There is also the important question of the fit between you and how well you would work together.
Ask yourself the following three questions:
- Does the counsellor have the personal qualities I am looking for in a helper, such as warmth, openness, acceptance and real life experience?
- Is this someone I can talk with openly and honestly about my situation (is there good rapport between you)?
- How well would I work with this person?
Am I ready for counselling?
Can I ask you the following three questions?
- How willing are you to make some changes in your life?
- How hopeful are you of being able to make those changes with the help of a counsellor?
- What is your support system like (family, community) and what personal strengths do you have?
The counselling relationship
Did you know that the counselling relationship is identified as one of the most important elements that contribute to change in the counselling process? (Hubble, Duncan & Miller, 1999)
The other most important element is you, your motivation and strengths, and the work you do in between sessions. These elements are more important than the techniques the therapist uses or the strength of belief you have that therapy will help. Though these things have been found to be of minor importance (Hubble, Duncan & Miller, 1999).
Three benefits of coming to see me as a counsellor
- I am an open, warm and friendly person who is accepting of people from all walks of life
- My belief is that you have the strength within you and I can help you develop and apply them.
- I deeply understand the change process and can work closely with most people to help them achieve the changes they desire.
I was touched to receive this testimonial from someone I have worked with as a counsellor and helped to make significant and lasting changes in her life.
It was important to me, as probably to most people, that I learn to find my own way to stand on my own two feet again, Linda allowed me to identify on my own terms what I wanted to improve in my life, and to gently tease out the solutions that fit with who I am and my way of thought. She never forces an opinion or an idea, but gives perspectives and introduces you to new ideas – basically she opens the doors to your solutions and allows you to walk through them, expertly balancing an individual’s needs of guidance and independence.