How Can I Use Counseling Effectively?
Trying something new can sometimes present a challenge. Therefore, having a “quick start “ guide is often helpful. As we all know, there are many perceptions about counseling. While some are correct, others could be misleading. We want you to reap the most benefit from your counseling experience. Here is a short “quick start” guide on how to use counseling effectively:
1. Make the First Step.
The greatest barrier to fully experience life we've always dreamt often relates to our doubt and fear of making the first step. Most people like what is familiar and avoid what is unknown. Sadly, many rather choose to stay in their present discomforting and mediocre condition, than taking on a new adventure for greater freedom and growth. Those who dared to take “the first step”, explored the unknown and made a new change often looked back and wished that they had done it sooner. You, too, can make the first step! Don't worry. We will guide you once you did it.
2) Do It For Yourself.
The most efficacious and powerful change happens when we do certain thing first and foremost, for ourselves - and also perhaps those whom we love. Therefore, make up your mind and determine in your heart that you would change for the better, and the right time is now! You may surprise to see the power you have already possessed within you to make things better.
3) Be Yourself and Be Open to Share.
One of the wonderful gifts of counseling is that it creates a safe and special place just for you. In counseling, you have the opportunity to be yourself and focus on you – your ideas, feelings, hopes, etc. In this safe environment, you will be empowered to grow, to heal and to move forward toward accomplishing the things you desire. Therefore, come to counseling readily to share. Make some notes of the important things you encounter throughout the week that you could be benefited to discuss during the session.
4) Set Your Goals
One of the most frequently asked questions from clients is “How many counseling sessions do I need?” Our response is “What is your goal?”. Some clients come to counseling because they have a simple concern that could be discussed in a 90-minute session. But for most, they desire something more comprehensive. For example, self-growth, lifestyle change, mindset and behavioral transformation, skills development, healing from past hurt, etc. These goals obviously would require more sessions. Think of physical rehabilitation after injury. It would require regular and consistent sessions in order to fully recover successfully. Therefore, be thinking about your counseling goals.
5) Fully Engage in the Process.
Counseling works best when client is an active participant, instead of bystander. It is one thing to come to counseling to talk out your problems, seek advice and do nothing different. Yet, it is something else to process your thoughts and feelings, and put into practice the new ideas you learn in counseling. When you are "committed" to change, you will see the fruits of your labor!
6) Be Patient & Consistent
Chronic illness typically does not develop overnight but overtime. It is also true with chronic problems in life, which is typically ignored for a long time before finally turned into a crisis. A few counseling sessions may not completely solve all of your problems, but with patience and consistency most of our clients see improvement in their lives. Consider counseling as a valuable investment you can do to yourself and your loved ones. It will pay off a very good dividend if you are intentional, patience and consistent. Perhaps, it is one of the best investments one should not overlook in life.
At Life Design Counseling, we are committed to help you succeed in your new life’s journey!
© 2012, Dr. Andrew Imbrie Tezuka, All Rights Reserved