• kimbansi

7 misconceptions about counselling for World Mental Health Day

Updated: Oct 11, 2019

As it's World Mental Health Day today I thought it'd be a great opportunity to talk about counselling, something I have been linked to throughout my life because my mum has been a counsellor since I was about 18 and she's always encouraged me to talk and think about my mental health. I have also tried counselling before and really enjoyed the experience (I'm not sure if you're supposed to!) I sat down with my mum tonight to talk about some misconceptions there are about counselling.

1. You're going to get lots of advice

Counselling is more about helping you to come to the right decisions for yourself. It's about empowering you to make the best decision for your life. If your counsellor was to tell you what to do, you'd become reliant on them to make decisions in your life way beyond the therapy room.

2. That it's not confidential

People who have problems trusting others need not worry about confidentiality. Counsellors are bound by an ethical framework, much like a doctor would be.

3. It's just sitting around talking

There is a lot going on in the therapy room beyond what you see on the surface. Counsellors are there giving empathy, being non-judgemental and providing a safe space which can be very powerful in the road to healing.

4. That it'll be a magical cure

Some people want to try counselling because they believe someone else will sort everything out for them. However, there is a lot of work that must be done outside the therapy room, alongside your therapy.

5. That you're going to be judged

A counsellors job is to accept the person as a whole and treat them with unconditional positive regard. They are there to offer you a safe, non-judgemental space.

6. The counsellor is the expert

Counsellors will make sure that in the therapy room, you are equals. They are not experts in your life, they see a snapshot of it, but you are the one that knows the most about your life.

7. That you have to talk

Counsellors won't push you to talk if you don't want to. They will work with whatever you are willing to bring to the room and many work in different ways like using art, playing games or even through music.

This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but hopefully should provide you with some more information or ease some of your fears surrounding counselling and therapy. It's my opinion that we go to the dentist to look after out teeth, the optician to check our eyes, but we never go and seek help with our mind, which is the most precious part of our body. Go try it!

Brown girl Kim
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