If you are from the United States you may think there is a typo in the title of this post but ‘counselling’ with two ‘l’s is actually the preferred spelling in English speaking countries outside of the US. This post is part of a series of articles on thinkingcountry working in conjunction with BetterHelp, the world’s largest e-counselling platform, to continue to raise awareness of mental health topics.
Counselling (or counseling) refers to a type of therapy whereby people work with a counsellor to give them the tools and understanding to work through their problems and become more emotionally stable and generally healthier. When you go to see a counsellor (or when you take part in e-counselling or other types of counselling) it will be in a safe space and you will be able to fully relax into the situation. Sometimes you might not click with the counsellor you have been assigned and in these situations it is sometimes best to be honest to the situation and find somebody else. However, the important thing is that the therapy works well for you in the short and the long term. A counsellor is there to be a strong support for you and as well as helping you see the bigger picture and helping you to become stronger they can help you in making decisions if that is an area in which you struggle. Not everybody has someone outside of counselling, a friend, partner or family member who they can turn to and so the counsellor takes on an even more important place in their route to getting better. Sometimes we find we cannot say certain things to friends, family members or partners and so a counsellor becomes our go to person when we have something on our minds or indeed serious problems that we need to work through in a safe and confidential setting. The most important thing if you are struggling is to tell someone and speak openly and honestly about it. Trying to deal with these things yourself just doesn’t do you any good in the long run. At a time when you aren’t thinking rationally anyway you cannot hope to rationalise your situation and move forward to help yourself. Generally it’s only by reaching out that we can begin to get better. Counselling is a great way of enabling this.
Online counselling is becoming increasingly popular and is of course available anywhere that there is an internet connection. Online counselling sessions can be conducted through instant messaging, video calling, email or other means. For those people who have such a difficult condition they struggle to leave their home this is a good first step. However, face to face counselling is also an option for many and there is a good chance that there is a counsellor, or more likely several counsellors, in your local area.
If you think you might benefit from seeing a counsellor I suggest you do some research first to decide if it is the best route for you. Get some advice from your general medical doctor and if you know of anyone who has seen a counsellor in the past, who you trust, maybe ask them about it. It can be a difficult thing for people to talk about, but this is partly what this series, and series like it on other blogs, is all about – breaking down the boundaries and making it easier for people to seek help, to not feel difficult about it and that they are supported.