An Introduction to Individual Personal Counseling
Feeling apprehensive? You might be wondering what will happen, how you will react, what the counselor will be like, and whether the experience will be helpful and meaningful to you. This page will highlight some of the benefits you can expect from counseling and offers a guideline to assist you in taking full advantage of the experience.
These are some of the signs or issues that prompt people to seek counseling:
- stress or anxiety
- academic motivation
- career choice confusion
- eating disorders
- substance abuse
- family relationship conflicts
- financial stress
- grief/loss issues
- intimacy, commitment, or relationship issues
- identity concerns (e.g., ethnic/racial identity; sexual orientation, spiritual identity)
- thoughts and feelings about suicide or self-harm
- anger or thoughts of violence
Typically, people struggle with these kinds of issues internally, mulling them over in their minds trying to sort out possible solutions to their dilemmas. They may talk things over with family members and friends, but sometimes that may not feel like it's enough.
What can I expect from Counseling?
What happens in counseling depends on the unique needs and strengths of each person seeking assistance. For this reason, each counseling experience is unique, just as every individual is unique.
Typically, the first few sessions are spent clarifying the problem and examining what solutions have already been tried. This process assists the counselor in determining which counseling strategies will be most helpful to you. Once you clarify your issues, you and the counselor will delineate counseling goals. There are many approaches to dealing with these issues. Often, the process will include learning new problem-solving or coping skills, increasing self-understanding, exploring life patterns, and gaining a better sense of how you are influenced by your surroundings.
How can I get the most out of Counseling?
- Attempt to clarify your goals, and/or what you hope to get out of the experience
- Consider how you feel about the counseling relationship
- Be an active participant
- Focus on what is most important to you
- Recognize and express feelings
- Be patient with yourself
- Ask questions