Myths and reality
People who have not seen or written to a counsellor before often do not know what to expect. It is often thought that counsellors provide precise instructions on how we should behave or that the they can magically solve all the problems. In reality, counselling is a two-sided process during which the counsellor helps the person in need find solutions to their concerns and provides them support.
Myth #1: Counsellor solves my problem
It is not uncommon for people who turn to counsellors for the first time not to know what the counselling process is going to be like. People sometimes think that the counsellor is someone who, thanks to their special skills and knowledge, can understand the person’s problem in an instant and magically offer a suitable solution. Believing that with the help of a counsellor they can solve their problems quickly and without putting in any effort themselves. Unfortunately, when people have such high expectations, disappointment is quick to follow. Counselling is first and foremost a relationship between two individuals and it is important to keep in mind that both parties are equal.
Moreover, counselling is a relationship of co-operation: there is nothing mysterious or magical about it. A situation in which a counsellor would give the client any instructions or guide them to behave, think or feel in a certain way without explaining the reasons for the instructions and suggestions is unthinkable. In most cases, the objective of counselling is a change. The counsellor and the client have an equal role in determining the necessity and direction of the change as well as the means by which it is expected to be achieved – all decisions are made in co-operation. A counsellor helps people identify and implement the goals that the person finds important to them. A counsellor does not offer solutions, they help people become aware of the solutions and make them a reality
Myth #2: Counselling is always the same regardless of the problem
People reach out to counsellors with a variety of problems. Therefore, the results expected from counselling are also different. Some people wish to get rid of a highly specific problem with the help of counsellors, e.g. blushing when giving a presentation in front of the classroom. Others, on the other hand, wish to find answers to more general issues. In such a case, the issue cannot be limited by specific conditions. Nevertheless, it is still possible to classify the objectives of counselling more broadly. Firstly, the counsellor tries to encourage the person and reduce their anxiety. Only then will it be possible to address more specific problems, get a better overview of them and start moving towards possible change. One of the key objectives of counselling is for the person to learn to cope with their own problems: how to assess and analyse the situation and find ways to identify and achieve their goals.
Myth #3: All counsellors use same work methods
In psychology, there are different schools of thought that all focus on different mental or behavioural processes. As a result, different approaches are used in counselling: some schools emphasise the importance of thinking, others consider behaviour and its changing and training to be of key importance, while others try to work through emotions to find solutions. The fourth school of thought is focused on deep existential issues and aims to help people find answers to these questions. It is, therefore, essential to find a counsellor and method of therapy that suits your own personal needs.