How does counselling work?
Peoples’ issues are a lot like icebergs. The surface issues are visible to us, but the iceberg’s mass is mostly hidden beneath the water’s surface. We start at the surface ( the issue that is sticking out and grabbing our attention right now) and then start to look at what lies underneath, supporting this surface condition.
Counselling starts exactly where you are and with an acceptance of who you are. In a safe space, the counsellor will accompany you to compassionately and non-judgmentally take a good look at the situation, with all its aspects. Guided in this way, we develop a gentle curiosity about ourselves and become interested in what is happening rather than judging and criticizing.
You will get to work on the issues that are causing you pain, and that are triggering you in your present life. From this snapshot in present time, we are able to bring to light the beliefs, reactions and self talk that have developed over a long time.
The role of the therapist and facilitator is to guide you deeper into you own self awareness and help you to gain access to this wise inner self. You are truly your own expert!
What happens in a session?
Different people respond to different approaches and different levels of support.
Creativity, nature, body work, journaling, arts (music, drama, visual and writing) are all ways through which we can gain deeper knowledge and self awareness.
For this reason, Essential Selves offers individual counselling, short workshops and group counselling opportunities . We also provide you with a lot of suggestions of how to work on your own, through “homework “and self directed readings and exercises
My problem is external so how can counselling help me?
We often don’t have control over many external factors which profoundly impact our lives. Job loss,sickness, and traumatic events like assault, natural disasters, car crashes and war can and do affect us and those we love, often without warning and this can feel terribly unfair. Our first question is usually, why did this happen? And that is when we can start to self blame.
Many times, a traumatic event is made worse by the messages of self blame that we take in, even when we have had no control over the situation. How we treat ourselves in times when we are most vulnerable is extremely important to how well we will heal and recover from the shock and stress.
We have a lot of control over how we react to these situations, how we cope with them and what we can learn from them. Developing resilience, self support and awareness of how to be our own best friend in difficult times can make a massive difference in how we cope and how much we are able to appreciate and enjoy our lives.
Sometimes, we have learned one way of coping that worked well at the time, but now the coping strategy has become a problem…
By understanding the core beliefs that drive us, how these developed and how they are impacting us, we can start to make decisions that are more in line with who we are, who we choose to be and how we want to live. We can also start to recognise what we have control over and what we don’t and where we can most effectively use our energy.
I have worked with community workers and activists on burnout and stress prevention.
These dedicated people spend every day looking at very serious environmental and social problems. Having the right attitude to the work, knowing what to focus on, and staying in tune with one’s core self while doing it is critical to remaining healthy in these contex
How do I know you are the right counsellor for me?
It is important to verify that the professional that you choose has the training, experience, and credibility to help you with your particular issue. don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience.
There are many approaches to therapy and the best therapists often adapt their approach to the needs of the client.
It is in your protection and best interest to ensure that you are working with a professional who is a member of a professional order. This makes sure that the individual has the recognized skill to work as a psychotherapist.
Like any other kind of relationship, chemistry plays a factor
I feel worse after my counselling session- what is happening?
Most people experience some degree of relief after speaking to someone about something that has been weighing on them. It can be extremely helpful just to have someone to listen to.
Sometimes, however, after bringing up very painful memories and experiences, you might feel worse for a short while. It is important that you have good strategies in place to comfort yourself when you feel bad. Your therapist can help you work on this. In fact, if you are dealing with traumatic, overwhelming issues, it is best to work on self comforting and feeling safe before you dive in to working on issues.