B Gilmore Counselling
Victoria region, Vancouver Island BC
778 350 3281      

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Should I Call?

Posted on 2 January, 2017 at 18:55
Thanks, but should I call? When? What do you do when someone you know says you should talk to a counsellor, and even suggests a name or gives you a business card? Do you act on the suggestion and call the counsellor? Or, should you wait? It is very typical (and wonderful) for a friend or colleague to care enough to help you find a counsellor to talk through your difficulties. They know you need more than a friendly ear so they give you the business card or contact details of a counsellor they know and say call intending you to follow-up sooner rather than later. As a counsellor, I agree with them! (I am not saying this simply to drum up business but), if someone else is thinking you should talk to a counsellor then it is very likely the thought has crossed your mind as well. Somehow our subconscious knows when it is time to seek help and makes it obvious. First, if possible view the counsellor's website before you call (it will be on the business card). It will tell you if they offer any free consultation time, how accessible they are to you, and that they are registered and qualified to practise clinical counselling. Do they have experience and interest in the situation or issue that affects you? If so, contact the counsellor and set up that first meeting right away. Yes, right at that moment you feel she or he looks like someone who will listen to you and help you work through your difficulties. Taking this action completes your decision and first step to change your situation. When you do call and engage with the counsellor, what can you expect? Simply said, expect confidentiality and to be genuinely listened to from the counsellor. Counselling is about expressive and receptive communication; it is often a talking & listening therapy. When you have been heard, the counsellor will likely offer some information and assistance that may resonate with you, and can be acted upon together. If you are not comfortable with that counsellor, you must be honest and not continue with future sessions. Confirm their confidentiality and then seek out another counsellor that may be a better fit for you and your difficulties. Is counselling really worth the money? You might be thinking I don't have a benefit plan and it seems expensive. Ask yourself what IS worth the money you pay for it? Generally we feel it is worth it when it positively affects our: 1. Happiness (such as entertainment, new clothes, socializing, eating out, or a vacation); 2.Health (such as the dentist, acupuncturist, massage or gym membership); 3.Investment in Future (such as education, professional development, or financial advice/ assistance); or 4.Personal Wellbeing (such as feeling safe in life and in relationships, feeling calm and less stressed, feeling confident with decisions and actions, feeling valued, and contributing to the world around us). I venture to say counselling for difficulties, issues and change affects all four! Yes, worth the money! Is counselling therapy? Will I need counselling all of my life? Yes, there are a variety of therapies that are used in counselling sessions to help you reach individual goals. Often goals and self-management tools can be successful within 3 to 12 weekly sessions and then you and your counsellor will decide on the frequency of sessions after that. It is good to know a counsellor can help at various times in your life for various issues and goals in your life. Finally, is counselling a secret? Are you thinking what will people say if they know I am talking to a counsellor? This is a good question and answered according to your own personal attitudes and perceptions. It is interesting that you might perceive yourself to be sick if you start working through change with a mental health counsellor, yet you perceive yourself to be doing really well if you seek out a career counsellor, financial counsellor, or personal trainer/weight counsellor, etc. to work through a change. Indeed! Counsellors do talk about perceptions: how they affect us and how we can use them effectively. So, when someone offers friendly advice and suggests you talk to a counsellor; even gives you the business card, accept it as a gift of caring. It's not a card or name to discard. It is a card or name that may be the start of the change you are seeking now. Importantly, if the counsellor's card or name has been given to you because your changes are associated with recurring thoughts of escaping or suicide plans, please call the counsellor or a crisis line right away. Your friend or colleague is giving you the important gift of caring. Barbara Gilmore RPC Clinical Counselling, InnerLife Health Services 101-4475 Viewmont Ave., Victoria BC 778 350 3281

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