The aim of Counselling is to help you identify, and change if necessary, those behaviours and modes of thinking that are contributing to your current unhappiness. Counselling works with conscious difficulties, anxieties, or distress. It can also look more deeply into the underlying causes of our inability to live life as fully as you would like. It can be a life-changing journey. MAC Counselling offers confidential counselling to individuals, couples, families and groups. We also work with adults and teenagers.
Typically counselling can help people deal with:
• Feelings of depression, anxiety, stress or confusion
• Relationship difficulties
• Dissatisfactions with work or lifestyle
• Destructive behaviours, such as eating disorders, drug or alcohol addiction
• Illness or bereavement
• Difficulties arising from abuse
• The aftermath from traumatic experiences
• Negative and other destructive thought patterns
• Recovery from, or untangling oneself from abusive relationships
I often feel that when someone picks up the phone, that is the most courageous part of the process – it’s a huge step in itself.
It is usual to feel anxious when you first come to see a counsellor – anxious about what they will be like; what is expected of you; how you might be helped; how long it will take; or even if you like the counsellor. Anxiety is absolutely normal, you are about to explore the most intimate details of yourself so you’ve got to trust and like the person who is sitting in front of you.
I will start by asking what has brought you to counselling. Once you have told me why you are seeking help, I may ask you why now? Once you have told me a bit about why you are there it is likely that I will ask some questions about your life. These questions are usually about your birth family, your relationships with your parents, siblings or any other carer, your current family such as husband/wife/separated/divorced, children, etc.
Although the questions may often seem irrelevant to your current situation, they are important pieces of information for me in formulating a diagnostic picture of you. This also gives me an idea of how to help, how long it may take and what direction the therapy is likely to go.
During this process, you will, of course be making note of whether you like me; whether you like the way I work and whether you think you could work with me. Without actually being able to form a therapeutic relationship, the therapy/counselling will not work. For this reason, I usually end the first session by asking whether you have any questions for me.
Last but not least, I will discuss the terms and conditions of our work together so that you know how to get hold of me in an emergency, my cancellation policy, times when I work, etc. Cost is also something that we will discuss at the first meeting.
If you see someone in private practice, then you will have to pay for the therapy. Medical insurance companies do sometimes pay for counselling but usually for only one type of therapy and for a short period of time.
When the first session ends, it is usual to make the next appointment. Making the decision to seek professional help for anything to do with your well-being is a brave and courageous step.
I hope this gives you some idea of what to expect after you make that phone call.
.....every journey begins with the first step.