Before counsellors become a counsellor, part of our training was that we had to have counselling ourselves. After all, we must practice what we preach. If I haven’t forego therapy, how can I promote something I’m selling without experiencing the benefits for myself? Any good and well established school of psychology would insist upon this as part of professional development. Each students of psychology need to be have counselling as a requirement. Although, I have had some counselling prior to my Psychotherapeutic Counselling training, as I progress through further studies, I am undergoing further counselling as well as supervision.
I don’t think there is any shame in disclosing this fact that perhaps clients are not aware of. It is just as scary for us in therapy as we continuously work through our self-awareness as a therapist. As a counsellor under counselling, I do understand the nervous tension of disclosing some underlying fears that may not have been shared with anyone else. I understand it in my own way, which may be different to the way you understand nervous tension and fears, because the way I interpret situation will be different to the way you interpret your world. Although, we are looking at the outer world, our inner world is different due to our life experiences.
Before I’d chosen my counsellors, I had research the therapist, browsing their website and tried to get a sense of what this person is like. Depending on what modality of counselling you’re after, and it may not have any relevant to you, but it does to me. I chose a therapist based on their location to me, and their field of expertise (their modality eg: Psychoanalytic, Person-Centred, Cognitive Therapy, Transactional Analysis etc.) Over the past 20 years or so, counselling field have expanded and it can be difficult to choose a modality suitable for you. If in doubt, try an Integrative therapist who has wide range of modality like Psychotherapeutic Counselling, where many interventions are used during sessions. If you choose a therapist that hold similar views to some of your belief and you get a sense that this type of therapy is for you, your time in therapy can be rewarding and fulfilling.
For me, in therapy session, since I am paying, I want to make the most of the session and utilize the time resourcefully. It is a great way to get things off my shoulders. If the hour flies by, I know that it was a good session. Just as I learn new things in my daily life, I learn new things about me with every session and this is like reading a good book, once you start, you cannot put down.
I enter each session without any expectations and eagerness. This way I can just speak my mind. If I entered the therapy room with expectation that the therapist is going to wave the wand and get rid of my problems. Hmmm, what do you think will happen? You will be disappointed. Disappointed that you have got the response that you wanted? Disappointed that you didn’t get the affirmation to your problem but lots of challenges? Disappointed that the problem is still there?
If you treat your therapist as an individuals who has your best interest at heart than you may find this more useful. If you persist, persevere, and have patient, you won’t be a patient for long.
For me, although I am qualified as an Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, I am striving for growth. So in my effort for growth, even though I am fully qualified and fully accredited, I am pursuing further studying into Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy – which fits with me. This model feels right with me. Like any trade person, you need to have the right tools for the job. Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy is another tool on my belt. As I see value in my therapy, I can see that I want to make the most of my sessions, and as I want something, I need to put the effort into it. Being in counselling gives me the insight into apprehension, consternation and disquietude that clients maybe feeling when embarking on therapy for the first time. But, like everything we perceived in the internal dialogue, the reality is somewhat quite diverse.
Just like you, we also strive for growth. Just like you, we also have skeletons in our closet. Just like you, we have our own path in which we seek.