Why would anyone need to see a counsellor if they have family and friends?

Ask yourself, how many people do you know who truly listen to you, without waiting for their turn to speak and without their own agenda, no matter how loving?  Everybody has their blind spot regarding themselves and others. If your blind spot overlaps with that of a family member or friend then you will not really address your issue because you won’t be able to see it. We all have personal agendas. It might be the loving agenda of a mother who is blinded by her need to keep her adult child safe but fails to see what this child actually needs.

A good counsellor should not have any hidden agenda. He or she is not emotionally tied to you and therefore won't react unexpectedly or out of turn. A good counsellor will neither push you into acting nor advise you. Instead he or she will facilitate you finding your own solution at best; at worst they will help to temporarily alleviate your suffering by simply listening. Hopefully they can accomplish both. 

Does counselling actually work?

It takes a lot of courage to begin counselling, therefore, it is important to know that it works. In his book, "Essential research findings in counselling and psychotherapy", Professor Michael Cooper (University of Strathclyde, Scotland) summarises current research findings into counselling and its efficacy. Here are some facts about counselling as published by Professor Cooper:

Clients who received therapy significantly improve over time when compared with control individuals suffering from the same issues but who did not access counselling.

Counselling is as effective as pharmacological treatments (drugs used to treat depression and anxiety) over the long term.

Between 10 and 20 sessions are required for 50% of clients to show clinical improvement.

Counselling and psychotherapy have been shown as the most cost effective treatments for psychological illnesses when compared with other treatment types.

I adopt a pluralistic approach to counselling and psychotherapy that can involve many different types of psychotherapy, which can include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), aspects of Gestalt and Psychodynamic counselling as well as person-centred counselling. I believe that each person requires a specific blend of counselling in order to deal with their unique problems. Together, we will adopt a trial and error approach to find the right therapy for you.

Many people wonder how long counselling takes, which is a valid question. My research (based on the clients I have seen) suggests that the average number of sessions is 10, at which point 75% of clients leave therapy with significant improvement to their mental health. 

Why do some people discontinue counselling?

There are a number of reasons why people might discontinue counselling. Some people are naturally resistant to the therapeutic tools applied during the sessions and are reluctant to practice at home. One thing is certain, counselling sessions alone are not enough for you to get better; it is essential that you practice the tools acquired during the sessions at home and out in the world. Other people discontinue counselling because they feel unable to deal with the powerful emotions and memories that resurface due to the counselling process. This is completely understandable; it is important to come to counselling when you are ready and not before. Finally, counselling is a very personal process that places clients in a vulnerable position. Therefore the therapeutic alliance between therapist and client is crucial if counselling is to be successful. If a person feels that he or she cannot trust or simply doesn’t like the therapist then counselling won’t work. Find the counsellor that works for you and then work with that person to get better. Counselling is hard work both in and out of the sessions and it is important to note that some people can actually feel worse for a number of days before they start to feel better. This is an obvious side-effect of releasing emotions and memories that may have been locked up for decades. 

 

 

Our location

2A Woodstock Street,
Athy,
Co. Kildare