When we are upset, the only thing that helps us heal is the purging of negative emotions from our minds. If not, then the hurt stays buried. We tend to cover it up for the sake of appearances, never once attempting to solve the issue. It is easier for us to ignore it, hoping it will go away. What we don’t realise is that our personal problems significantly hamper our personal growth because they constantly weigh on our subconscious.
There are significant issues that people suffer from in this day and age.
Times have changed, peer pressure, work pressure, break down of families and relationships, an alien value system – these are common in our daily lives. One might say that talking to a close friend or a family member is a better idea because they will be able to judge the situation better but that is not true. A friend or a family member will be hampered by the close relationship they share with the person concerned and biases will play a large part in their understanding of the situation. It is much better to talk to a trained counsellor for many reasons, some of them being:
• They will be able to judge a situation or an outburst objectively because they are not directly involved
• They are not duty bound to say things that you want to hear
• They are trained in the art of listening and are skilled to pick up on unsaid problems
• They can help one make sense of a complex situation and find a solution
It takes great courage for one to admit that there is a personal problem and even greater gumption to go to someone for help. But in the end, it is extremely beneficial for one to do so. Counselling sessions are private and they can reveal a lot about the person, the problems, the triggers and so forth. Initially, it might seem to be a scary thought to lay bare your fears to someone who you don’t know, but that is what makes it easier, say many counsellors. Because people don’t know the counsellor personally it becomes easier for them to open up because they know that they won’t be judged. They benefit from the safe environment that the counselling provides – a place where they can vent. Talk therapy is based largely on catharsis and that is what an emotionally turbulent mind needs.
One should not believe that being a counsellor is an easy task at all – it requires a lot of study of the human mind, behaviour, patterns and research on case studies. It can be a rewarding career option, especially for women as they are naturally attuned to others problems and generally make better listeners than men. There are many facets to counselling – relationships/marriage, education/career, mental health, substance abuse, anger management. If you have a calm manner, excellent listening skills and good communications skills then counselling could be a good career option for you. Opt for subjects such as psychology, social work and education in school years and at the college level. You can even join a counselling institute for training purposes, even if you do not have an educational background in psychology. Be warned that work in this field can be slow as people are still not quite used to going to a counsellor with their problems. Especially in India, mental health is considered taboo, as a result, many people shy away from getting crucial help.
Even if they do go for counselling chances are they will not return for subsequent sessions.
Yes, counselling is a difficult path to tread, both for the counsellor and the one seeking help. Whichever you may be, know that it is a noble profession designed to help people – make it your own or avail of it, whichever suits you best.