Updated: May 16, 2019
This post explains six of the hidden aims of counselling you may not be aware of and how they can be gained during your therapy sessions. Counselling stems from different theories, the most prevalent in my practice being Person-centred. Each theory has its own aims that it hopes clients will gain through the therapy. Most of these hidden gains are not verbalised with clients explicitly and they are often not the reason they sought therapy, but clients often find that on reflection, they have gained these skills and qualities - bonus! 1. Being less judgemental to themselves and/or others. 2. Having more compassion for themselves and others. 3. Feeling more hopeful about the future.
4. Feeling more capable and having more self-efficacy and self belief.
5. Having more autonomy and being more self-reliant.
6. Having more self-trust and allowing your true voice to be heard.
The reason these skills and qualities can develop through therapy is through the very nature of the process of therapy. The counsellor acts as a mirror of sorts to what you are showing and through the therapist being able to reflect back what you are presenting, whether verbally or physically, they help you confront it or pick it apart, thus deepening your self-awareness and usually helping you resolve a personal issue.
It is very often that case that things are picked up and worked on that you did not intend to discuss but may come to realise are keeping you stuck or are the real root of a problem you thought was caused by something else. If something comes up you do not want to discuss, you can absolutely say that you aren't ready or comfortable yet - therapy is your time and it's OK to direct the session somewhere if that's what you want.
The gains also come from the way the counsellor is with you. My approach of being non-judgemental, sensitive, congruent, compassionate and warm, provides you with a safe template for you to understand how to be more like that to yourself and maybe you are able to extend that as a way of being to others. Many counsellors throughout time have come to understand that counselling isn't just a profession or skill set, it is a way of being.
Have a wonderful day,