PREPARING FOR COUNSELLING  

 

Different people want different things out of counselling. Being clear about the reasons you are choosing to undertake counselling can help you prepare for a successful counselling experience.

 

Before your initial appointment, you may want to consider:  

  • What you want to get out of counselling – what are your ‘objectives’?  What do you want to achieve? Try to be realistic and specific - wanting ‘to be happy’ or ‘to never feel down again’ need to be defined.

  • How might you achieve your goals? Counselling is time set aside for you to get what you need to improve your mental wellbeing (within the parameters of ethical therapeutic practice) .

  • What do you need to talk through/ think aloud about/ understand better?

 

To check you are prepared to engage in counselling, you may think about:   

  • Your willingness to engage in the process of counselling. Sometimes it can be challenging, sometimes cathartic, sometimes revealing, sometimes demanding – sometimes it's a combination of all of these and more. Are you up for it?

  • Your desire to change something to improve your mental well-being. What changes do you wish to make? What motivates your desire to change?

  • Your willingness to talk about yourself, your feelings, your life-experiences?

 

To prepare to undertake counselling it may be useful to: 

  • Develop your ‘emotional literacy’ i.e. practise thinking about what you’re feeling and finding a way to describe it .

  • Write things down in a journal (Dear Diary) format

  • Practice defining how much you feel something, for example, on a scale of 1 to 10  how happy / sad / anxious / depressed / etc do you feel at any given moment?

  • Monitor your thoughts and behaviours closely to prepare yourself for undertaking counselling as this will develop your self awareness .

 

It is important to note that none of the above are pre-requisites to starting your course of counselling but they might help you to prepare and get the most out of your counselling opportunity.