If you've been curious about the idea of going to counseling but your uncertainty has held you back, there's no reason to be concerned. This form of talk therapy can help you move through issues that are bogging you down, whether they're related to your career, relationship or even your view of yourself. An experienced and skilled counselor will gently guide you through the discussion -- not necessarily offering direct answers to your questions, but rather helping you reach conclusions on your own, which is more empowering. While it makes sense to be open and honest with your counselor, here are three other ways to get the most out of your sessions.
Focus On You, Not The Other Person
In your counseling session, it's common to be discussing an interaction with another person that proved challenging. Whether it was a condescending remark from your boss or a hurtful sentiment from a parent, focus on talking about how the interaction affected you, rather than spending too much time on what the person did. Your counselor will be able to understand the interaction between you and the other party with ease; what he or she will want to help you with is how the moment impacted you and what you felt. Getting to the root of this idea is important because it will help you know how to react in future dealings with the person.
Don't Protect The Counselor
Counselors have extensive training that prepares them for the rigors of sitting across from their clients. You don't need to hold back and protect the counselor's feelings if an interaction has made you feel in a certain way. For example, saying "That makes me feel self-conscious when you say that" is a better way to respond than pretending you're find. By sharing this truth, you and your counselor can explore the feelings you're dealing with and discover if they're a part of a significant issue for you.
Do Your Homework
Often, a counselor will give you some "homework" to complete between sessions. This could be keeping a journal of challenging interactions with people, how you dealt with each situation and how you felt, for example. Completing this homework is integral to finding success through therapy. It will allow you and your counselor to identify trends and patterns that can help you be aware of future challenging situations promptly and deal with them in a healthy manner.
Contact a local counselor, such as Dr Jed Turnbull, for further assistance.