What is Counseling?
Counseling involves an interpersonal relationship with individuals that are actively seeking help with personal issues that interfere or detract from a satisfactory life from a qualified, trained counselor.
Simply put, counseling is about growing. It is about learning new and more effective ways of navigating every day life so that an individual may live a more authentic and fulfilling life.
The counseling relationship is a collaborative process in which counselor and client(s) work together to meet the goals set by the individual, couple, or family.
Why Seek Counseling?
Individuals seeking counseling do so for three reasons: prevention, life enhancement, and to experience change.
Those hoping to make changes in their lives are concerned with situations that, for whatever reason, have become disruptive and feel unable to continue through the normal passage of life without excess stress and unhappiness. Through counseling, clients can become aware of areas in their lives (dysfunctional relationship patterns, unhealthy coping strategies, and destructive behavior) that might benefit from change and take steps towards leading a happier, healthier life.
As prevention, counseling assists clients adapt to life stressors through education and support so that families, couples, and individuals learn more effective ways of interacting with the their environment and the people in their lives.
As a counseling goal, life enhancement is about opening our experience to new and deeper levels of understanding, appreciation, and wisdom about life’s many potentialities.
What Is The Process of Counseling?
The process of counseling can be slightly different depending on whether it is a couple, family, adolescent, or adult seeking therapeutic assistance. However, all clients can progress through the basic stages of the counseling process. The initial stage of counseling brings an understanding of the process and a basic awareness of the underlying issues that have brought the client(s) to therapy.
During the intermediate stages of counseling, the client(s) utilizes the awareness and understanding achieved in the first stage to actively replace less healthy coping mechanisms and emotional responses with more functional ones.
The final stages of counseling are characterized by the client’s increased ability to utilize what has been learned in therapy and apply it to new situations encountered in the client’s everyday life.