Counselling isn’t just about wailing out your inner world or listening to the counsellor for a couple of hours and hope the corners will turn around without putting in effort. It is a life changing process where you need to constantly evolve into a better persona by relating and applying the learning in your daily life.
1. Record and recall.
One of the most useful reserves during the process can be the recorded clips of counselling. Just in case, If you feel lost about the session you have just finished up, and you feel like you need to relisten to the session over and over until you can clearly decipher what the therapist was talking about, these will serve you as a source to fall back upon in times of uncertainty, and you can listen to it as many times as you want.
During the session, summarize and write down the points that need to be highlighted. This will save you time from listening to the session all over again.
2. Practice mindfulness
Being mindful is the key to identify and understand your inner world being constantly bombarded with thoughts, feelings and overwhelming emotions. Try to be as mindful as possible because, only when you can recognise what you are going through, you can comprehend and express it to the world. Being mindful is the best possible way to know yourself better as you might get a handful of insights that you would’ve never realised earlier which will eventually lead to self actualization.
While practicing mindfulness, journal the thoughts, feelings and emotions that you feel are significant. They can be as small as a self judgemental thought for not waking up early or an emotional breakdown that tears your soul apart.
Journaling is proved to be a highly effective way of expressive writing. Journaling everyday will help you to unclog the chaos that you have been carrying in your mind all day long and, it will allow you to dig back into the situation when necessary.
4. Do not book a session when you are emotionally unstable
You might have gone through a heart wrenching breakup, a failed suicide attempt or the feeling of worthlessness brimming over in your mind. It feels too heavy to bear it and you just want to cry your heart out to the counsellor, but hold on, the session will go waste as you will not be in a situation to comprehend anything that the counsellor is trying to tell you. Rather, go through the emotion and try to empathize. Consider taking a session when you feel ok.
5. Stay private
Be it a painful assignment the counsellor has given or a journal describing how the day went on, do it in a private space when you feel everything is in control and safe. It can be locking yourself in a room or finding a spot where no one else would interfere. This will help you in focussing on the work when otherwise you would be worrying about being exposed to others. Keep things to yourself unless you are willing to share it to a second person.
Spare a few minutes before the session to take out your journal and retrospect what happened since after the previous session. Read your journal thoroughly and extract points that you want to share with the therapist or the points from the previous session that you can relate to your life. This will help the counsellor to understand you better and plan accordingly.
7. Be vulnerable
” It is tougher to be vulnerable than to actually be tough “.
It might feel uneasy and awkward to share your deepest and darkest secrets, insecurities and fears to a person you have met a few weeks ago. Yet, be totally vunlerable and open with the counsellor as she won’t judge any part of you and she would be only trying to help you. Very soon you will find out that the counsellor is an empathetic listener and not a sneaky neighbour judging your actions. The more you share the more rewarding the counselling turns out to be.