How not to be a counsellor.

I’ve had counselling in the past; CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) to be precise. It really, really helped me in so many ways. Even after 12 sessions though there are still more things I need to work on. Evidence shows that CBT works better in ‘courses,’ however, so I’m now waiting to start a new course after a few months break.

Counselling, like any other talking therapy, always seems to start with an assessment appointment. The idea of this is to:

  • meet the counsellor, and for the to meet you,
  • for the counsellor to find out about you and what it is that you would like to work on in your sessions, and
  • to agree things like confidentiality (this is really important) and any other policies that the counselling provider – in my case a local NHS trust – has.

So off I trot to my appointment, ready to explain what it was I was there for. Only to find a counsellor who asked me three questions:

  1. my name,
  2. had I ever had counselling before, and
  3. whether I suffer from depression or anxiety.

He then proceeded to tell me how my anxiety felt, rather than asking me. Then he said that it would be such a long wait for counselling that I’d be better off going to a local support group instead, although most people didn’t find it helped and they couldn’t offer me counselling anyway.

I was not impressed. Very, very not impressed, in fact. I sat through the rest of the appointment and had a reasonable chat with the bloke about such diverse things as the theatre, Monty Python and train travel. But the whole thing was a complete waste of time.

There’s no way that any counselling this guy would offer me – and I still haven’t heard anything two weeks later – could possibly be helpful, since I didn’t even get the chance to tell him about the compulsive behaviours that I want to work on.

Moan over, for the moment anyway. I’ve an appointment with another local service on Tuesday, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get the help that I’m looking for through them.

One thought on “How not to be a counsellor.

  1. Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚
    I genuinely don’t have a problem with the change in therapists, I’ve moved on so much since my last course of counselling that actually it makes a lot of sense. I just expected to be treated better than I was – I think I have a right to expect that to be honest. Anyway, never mind, challenges like this are what keeps life entertaining after all πŸ™‚

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