The Benefits of Counselling
Seeking the help of a professional counsellor can assist you in exploring your thoughts and emotions to make sense of why you are thinking and feeling a certain way.
Indeed, counselling is often the first and usually one of the best weapons we have against a range of challenging mental-health issues like depression, complicated-grief and anxiety to name just a few.
But counselling is not just for mental-health issues, it’s also an effective strategy for dealing with relationship problems and other difficult life events. Indeed, counselling is a multi-faceted therapeutic approach to dealing with many of life’s challenges, desires and goals.
If you’re considering counselling, we’ve listed and explained some of the key benefits that come out of engaging in talking therapy with caring and professional counsellor.
- A Trained Counsellor will be non-judgemental
- Explore Your Potential
- See Your Thoughts from a Different Perspective
- Cathartic Experience
- Time Set Aside to Confront Feelings
- Couples Benefit from a Neutral Party
- Feel Less Alone with Your Problems
- Find it Easier to Cope in Everyday Life
- Share the Burden of Your Emotions
- Improve Your Physical Wellbeing
- Greater Degree of Self-Awareness
- Who can Benefit from Psychological Therapies?
- Counselling Covers a Wide-Range of Issues
- Learn to be More Assertive & Resilient
- Online Counselling & Psychotherapy
Very often we don’t have someone that we can completely share our innermost thoughts and emotions with. Talking with friends and family can help to a degree, but most of us do not speak frankly and honestly about our deepest feelings with those who are closest to us. Sometimes, talking with a friend or family member can be a barrier to openly discussing issues and problems. This barrier can make you feel more isolated.
A professional counsellor will have no judgement about you or your life experiences which makes sharing problems and insights easier and more comfortable. Dedicating time to yourself to help address issues that affect your life is beneficial, as it will give you the time and space you need to work things out. Counsellors are skilled in dealing with and talking about difficult subject matters, so talking to a professional counsellor can make it less awkward to reveal deep-rooted thoughts and feelings.
When it comes to the matter of creating and sustaining our best life (whatever that means to each of us personally), the question we should ask ourselves is not, “how much potential do I have?” but rather, “how much of that potential am I currently using?” Sometimes we are held back by people find that they are held-back by their own narrow and finite views of themselves which can act to constrain them in achieving their life’s desires and goals – some people even hold back from seeking a promotion because they harbour intense and ‘debilitative emotions’ of self-doubt, unworthiness or fated defeatism. Counselling can help you to bolster your ‘facilitative emotions’ to outweigh those debilitative emotions and teach you how to become a more assertive and resilient person.
Speaking aloud and verbalising your thoughts and emotions lets you see them from a new perspective, instead of just in the interior of your own mind. Saying them to another person also makes you consider what their view is, meaning you can gain new ways of thinking about your problems, simply by letting them out. In a similar way, keeping a diary or journal is a great help to many people – seeing your problems written down on paper allows you to examine them from a distance. In some cases, people discover that their worries or anxieties aren’t really founded on any real cause for concern or that what they thought was a very serious issue was, in fact, nothing at all to worry about – this can be a huge relief.
Similarly, letting things out that you’ve been keeping inside can be a cathartic experience, purging you of pent up emotions, as many people find they are relieved of thoughts or feelings that they’ve been bottling up. Such a release often feels like a weight off the mind and allows people to begin to let go of unhealthy feelings they’ve been holding on to.
Today we’re busier than we’ve ever been in the past, as our attention is pulled in every way possible from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep. This means we can rarely afford the time to sit and process feelings of guilt, remorse, grief or sadness. Counselling or talking therapy means you have dedicated some time to facing or confronting your issues. When you have an appointment with counsellor, you’re committed to them for that period of time. Equally, you’re less likely to be distracted whilst you are facing those feelings.
People in relationships often see very positive benefits from a specific relationship or couples counselling. Problems in relationships can become deeply entrenched if a couple is unable to openly discuss issues and move past them. Taking the time to talk through such issues with a neutral third party, as will be the counsellor, means both sides can air their views and grievances whilst someone is there to mediate between them and help them both to see arguments from the other’s perspective.
Often people feel unable to share their feelings and issues with the people in their life, and quite often with those closest to them. Having someone who is a complete stranger, who doesn’t know you and won’t judge you, can give you the freedom to talk openly about things you wouldn’t normally admit to your friends and family. This is hugely helpful in making people feel less alone and isolated in their suffering, especially if you’ve had something on your mind that you’re too embarrassed to discuss with people who know you.
Sharing and unloading your emotions through counselling and talking means you can get on with the rest of your life, making it easier to cope. You have some weight off your mind, and you know that should anything come up, you have someone you can talk to about anything you’re worried about. People find that this, knowing you can rely on someone to listen to your problems, frees them of worrying about their problems all the time, meaning they can focus on living their lives again. This often produces a virtuous cycle, as being able to focus on everyday life means people make positive changes in their life, which in turn lifts their mood. Some even get back on the path to realising their dreams.
Having that person you confide in, who listens to you, relieves you of always shouldering the burden of your emotions. It’s quite common for emotions that are bottled up to have lasting effects on your mood and behaviour, and long-seated issues can be the root cause of all kinds of worries and anxieties. If you’re struggling to process your emotions and this is affecting your daily life, seeing a counsellor can greatly help. (see ‘Passive Avoidance’ below)
Often in this field, all of the focus is on the mental side of things, but as physical beings, our physiology and overall health and wellbeing plays into the equation too. Some such benefits people get as a result of counselling can be more energy, sounder sleep, and a better appetite. This often has a knock-on effect, making people more active, which can elevate feelings of positivity. The other side of this coin is the simple benefit of spending time in close proximity to other people which, especially for those feeling lonely, can have a hugely comforting effect.
Examining your emotions with a counsellor allows you to see yourself from the outside, resulting in a heightened sense of self-awareness. And once processed, this can have hugely beneficial effects in making people feel more at peace with themselves. With a boost in self-esteem confidence usually follows.
Anyone can benefit from counselling, sometimes it’s just good to talk to someone who will actually listen to you and has the experience to put your concerns in perspective. Young people, middle-aged and the elderly have been known to gain value from talking therapy, it doesn’t matter what age you are. Whether you’re suffering from an eating disorder, anxiety or depression related disorder, or having difficulties in your relationships, counselling can work for you too.
As mentioned, counselling is not just for mental-health issues. Counselling is not just for mental-health issues, it’s also an effective strategy for dealing with relationship problems (family, friends, co-workers, or partners) or coping with break-ups and other difficult life events. Indeed, people pursue counselling and therapy for a variety of other reasons. For example, some may enter therapy to get help with adjusting to major changes in their lives, grief and loss or other personal traumas, self-esteem, sexuality issues or they might just which to develop better communication skills, including as to developing their assertiveness or resilience to adverse events, and others may seek help in dealing with everyday issues that have become a bit overwhelming to deal with on their own. Also, many people seek counselling because they have identified specific goals or issues that they wish to work on. Some people just want assurance that their feelings and emotions are simply normal and nothing to be worried about. Counselling can also help you achieve some of life’s seemingly illusive goals, i.e.:
- A Less Stressful Life;
- Happiness & Fulfilment;
- Achievement & Success;
- Freedom & Wellbeing;
- A More Balanced Life;
- A Better Understanding of You.
Assertiveness can help you control stress and anger and improve coping skills. Being assertive is a core communication skill. Assertiveness can help you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view, while also respecting the rights and beliefs of others. Being assertive can also help boost your self-esteem and earn others’ respect. This can help with stress management, especially if you tend to take on too many responsibilities because you have a hard time saying no. Some people seem to be naturally assertive. But if you’re not one of them, you can learn to be more assertive. Learn more about Assertiveness training >>
Resilience to adversity is at the core of human development; it is how we learn to survive without wilting. Resilience may be said to be a quality hard-wired within each of us in order to fortify against tragedies inevitable in life. Indeed, adversity is a fact of life. Resilience is thus an ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back at least as strong as before, often stronger. Rather than letting difficulties or failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise again. Learn more about Resilience counselling through ‘Logotherapy’ >>
Online counselling can offer some advantages over in-person counselling as it is potentially free of certain constraining factors including as to geography and time; and in some cases, it can alleviate a client’s apprehensiveness or shyness so as to encourage the client to be more open and frank. It also provides a degree of anonymity that is comforting to some clients, reducing intimidation that some people may feel at the prospect of seeking traditional in-person therapy. Research shows online counselling, in some circumstances, to have better results among clients with anxiety and/or depression. Learn more about Online Counselling >>
Taking the First Step
Taking the first step in seeking out therapy can be daunting for any person. But it is this first step that is most important. It is the first step in addressing whatever issue is robbing you of your right to life’s enjoyment.
While it is never too late to seek out professional help, the sooner you do the better the possibility of assisting you identify and alleviate the problems affecting you.
Free Preliminary Phone Consultation
To help you decide if you are ready to begin therapy, we offer a free 10-minute phone consultation in which we can discuss the problems you are experiencing. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and together we can decide the next step forward.
The information provided on this website (www.cbtcounselling.com.au) is offered as general educational content only. The information herein should not be considered as advice, nor should it be used to treat, assess or diagnose a psychological condition, nor should it be used as an alternative to obtaining professional advice, diagnosis or assessment from a mental health professional.
In severe cases of a mental health disorder, including severe cases of any those disorders described herein, or any others such as bipolar disorder, psychosis or schizophrenia, medication may need to be prescribed to the sufferer. Only a Psychiatrist can legally prescribe medications to address such disorders, for example antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants.
If at any time you are concerned about your personal safety or the safety of another person, please contact your local hospital emergency department, or otherwise contact emergency services on 000 for immediate assistance. Where there is not an immediate emergency ‘Lifeline’ may also be able to provide assistance on 13 11 14.
Please also refer to the following disclosure information:
 Talking therapy (also ‘psychotherapy‘) is a form of ‘psychoanalytic therapy’ based on the theories of Sigmund Freud. Essentially, talking therapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction with adults, to help a person change behaviour and overcome problems in desired ways. This type of therapy aims to improve an individual’s well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviours, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. There is also a range of psychotherapies designed for children and adolescents, which typically involve play, such as sandplay.
 ‘Passive Avoidance’ can drive anxiety related disorders. The underlying subject of the avoidance, may lay dormant, simmering beneath the surface, until an emotional response is triggered by a particular stimuli, causing the sufferer to react (objectively) drastically and irrationally. To learn more about ‘Passive Avoidance’ please click on this link https://cbtcounselling.com.au/about-anxiety/
Author: Tim Pratten
Principal CBT Counselling & Psychotherapy
Title: The Benefits of Counselling