counseling is a beautiful process of healing and change. However, without the awareness of what actually happens in counseling and what does not, you may not be able to take the entire benefit of it. Therefore, we address some misconceptions or false expectations from counseling below, which need to be removed.
1.Therapy will work without my active involvement: Usually, after the first or second session, once the clients are done telling their issue, they tend to become very inactive in therapy. This should not be because the therapist needs you to be active in both speaking as well as taking action outside of the therapy room in order to make sure that therapy works. Therefore, continuously keep engaging with your therapist about what you feel, think and what course of action is best. You should not take a back seat.
2.Magic will happen just by talking for an hour: While the talking will help you feel good, but whatever is discussed in the therapy room and the suggestions or homework given, needs to be implemented in real life. Therapy works well only if you can transition the change in real life as well. If the suggestions given do not work out for you, then alternatives need to be actively generated.
3.Therapist’s job is to give me advice and mine is to take it: This is perhaps the biggest misconception, that therapists ‘tell what to do’ and the client is just supposed to listen. In reality, this is not what should happen. Because of their listening skills and knowledge of human mind, therapists can efficiently hear you out and help you reorganize your thoughts and emotions, so that together with the therapist, you can generate the apt solutions for your problems. It is a give and take process.
4.There will be quick and magical solutions: Although you will start to feel better and lighter from the first session itself, for you to see a significant reduction in the problem will take some time. And that too will happen only if you actively participate in the therapy process. Therapy is a scientific solution to a heavy feelings and emotions, but it is not magic.
5.You have to reveal everything to the therapist: Although some information may be vital to getting over a particular emotional block, no one can force you to reveal anything. Therapy should help you let loose, but only after you can trust the therapist enough to tell them. You need not tell them painful memories then and there, or tell them secrets despite being unsure of how they will use them. It is as much about your comfort level as the therapist. If their questioning about a particular line of thought is hurting you, tell them so and discuss it so that you can address it at a later point.
Hopefully, armed with this knowledge, you will find counseling to be beneficial and will be able to take full advantage of the process.