Counseling is commonly known as “talk-therapy” but it is also collaboration, an exchange and a relationship. The basis of the relationship is the counselor’s empathy and unconditional positive regard as well as the client’s sharing of his or her experience. It can be viewed as an exploration of an issue or reality where the client is the “expert”. It is well suited for addressing the types of psychological issues that arise as we grow, mature and transition throughout our lives. They can be connected to specific events or struggles and challenges in our self-development and breaking negative cycles of self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. Perhaps you are experiencing feeling stuck in some area of your life, with yourself, or feel like you keep hitting the same wall in your relationships or have difficulty making decisions. In these types of situations counseling and psycho-social support can be of great value.
I also want to mention, that some avoid seeking help because they fear being confronted, but confrontation in counseling is not a style. It will happen naturally as issues are explored and the client begins address dissonance, internal conflict, dysfunctional beliefs and acknowledge emotions and thoughts that have long been repressed or rejected.
There are many different types of services and definitions in the world of mental health. It can be confusing. As mentioned above, counseling is well suited for the so-called “growing pains” across the lifespan. It can go deeper than coaching though because it has the psycho-dynamic and psycho-therapeutic aspect to it. That being said, be aware that more severe psychological issues causing you not to function, psychiatric issues, suicidal ideation and chemical dependence is beyond the scope of this practice. In these cases please see your GP who can refer you to the best suited care in your area.