Choosing a Counsellor
Nancy Friedman, M.S.W. R.S.W. - Registered Social Worker
Why do people seek counselling?
People seek counselling because they feel they have an issue or issues which interfere with their day-to-day lives, school, work and relationships. These issues or problems may have been ongoing for a long while. They feel they have reached a dead end and are not sure how to resolve the issue or issues on their own. They have come to the realization that in addition to support from family and friends, they need outside help.
When you decide that you want to engage in counselling, you will want to know how to select a counsellor that would be a good fit for you.
Generally, there are two types of counsellors:
1. The reactive type counsellors. They listen to the client and respond to what the client brings to the session. This type of counsellor is a good fit for a client who needs a listening ear, a safe space to vent and have their feelings validated. With a reactive counsellor, expect to hear a lot of “ah ah” and see head nodding. This counsellor is expecting you to find the solution yourself with their supportive affirmation.
2. The proactive type counsellors. These counsellors will ask questions to ascertain the client's goals and desired outcome of the counselling. Once the goals are identified, this type of counsellor will ask more questions to assist them in assessing the best therapy modalities to facilitate the client reaching their goals. This will include tools and homework to practice between sessions to enhance the gains made in sessions. This type of counsellor is suitable for clients who have specific change that they want to make in their lives. For example: learn to manage their anger, relationship with spouse, addiction, trauma or issues with children, parents, employers, etc. This counsellor will often assist you by suggesting solutions.
I follow the second type of counsellor. As a result-oriented professional, I see my clients making progress in their identified goals. Yesterday I got goose bumps when my one of my clients shared with me that one of his friends just died of a drug overdose and he was so thankful that he was working with me. He then went on to tell me that thanks to my support he was saved from going down the wrong path. I also had tears of joy when another client in her 70s thanked me for helping her and her husband improve their relationship after 40 years of conflict.
I hope this article helps you identify what type of counsellor would be a good fit for you. And if the need is there, you will take the next step to reach out to a counsellor to assist you. You can find a counsellor through www.psychologytoday.com/ca
You are also welcome to contact me for a free 15 minute consultation to see if I would be a good fit for you at www.wellnessforthebody.com/team