What is counseling
Counseling is a relationship between a trained counselor or therapist and a client, where the counselor helps the client to deal with the challenges of their life using their (the client’s) inner resources that they have within them.
A counselor helps a client to identify goals, create solutions to problems, improve coping skills and live productively. Counseling is not advice giving, it is not creating solutions for clients, it is not guidance on the direction the counselor wants the client to take.
Benefits of counseling
To heal some past that hurts
We live in a world full of pain and every once in a while, we hurt. We get over some pain with ease while others we struggle with for a while, and some pain takes a long time. The sad thing about being hurt is that people pass their own pain to other undeserving people because hurt people hurt others.
When one is not able to deal with their pain, counseling is the way to go. Counseling helps people to release the pain and negative emotions in a safe, environment.
To gain self-awareness
Counseling helps clients to improve their ability to recognize their emotions, thoughts behaviors, beliefs, motivations and understand that they are very different from other people. Self-awareness that comes with counseling takes away the pressure to try and be like someone else.
To deal with stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are ways we respond to threats and unexpected situations. Stress and anxiety are not necessarily bad for they help us to stay focused and work on the goals.
On the other hand, chronic stress and anxiety leads to irrational thoughts and unhealthy patterns that interfere with our overall quality of life.
To deal with the kind of stress and anxiety that affects our functioning, counseling is important. Counseling equips us with skills to manage stress and anxiety and also helps us to identify the triggers.
To equip with life skills
Counseling equips individuals with skills such as decision making, conflict resolution, assertiveness, communication, social skills and any other desired life skill.
The difference between a productive individual and a self-defeated one is the availability and ability to use life skills. In cases where people have no life skills such as cases where one was brought up by parents who lacked such skills, counseling helps them to acquire and use the skills to make their lives better.
To deal with hurtful childhood which makes adults unhealthy if not dealt with
It is true that we are products of our childhood experiences whether good or bad. We see the world as good if our childhood experiences were pleasant and we perceive the world and people as untrustworthy if our experiences were unpleasant.
Counseling helps us to identify the unpleasant childhood experiences, work through them and heal. Counseling helps an individual to heal so that they stop looking at life through the eyes of their pain.
To prepare for marriage; pre-marital counseling
Two individuals from different backgrounds cannot look at life through the same eyes. Pre-marital counseling helps two different individuals work towards being able to manage their differences and live harmoniously.
Ordinarily, each personality thinks that their way of life is the best and that is the same way that should prevail.
Premarital counseling helps the two individuals to learn conflict resolution, decision making skills, and communication skills as well as other skills useful to make a healthy and harmonious marriage after they have resolved their own family issues.
To deal with loss of any kind
Loss is an inevitable part of life, and grief is a natural part of the healing process.
Loss is personal and so different people respond differently to it. Some are able to follow the natural response while others get stuck at the pain of loss and become unproductive in their daily life.
While not everyone who is faced with a loss needs grief counseling, those who get stuck and are not able to function in their daily lives needs grief counseling so that they can actualize the loss, grieve, heal and be able to move on.
All in all, counseling leads to greater self-awareness, improves self-esteem, leads to greater understanding of oneself and others and makes life more fulfilling and enjoyable.
-By Joan Kirera