Counseling has brought me in contact with a lot of people with unique problems and challenges. During these sessions I have often come across a wide spectrum of questions by a lot of people. Interestingly, they already have ready – made answers available for the questions they ask. One such question is, ‘When does a person need counselling’?
Some people say that since I was not able to solve my own problem on my own so I have come to meet you. Some say that even though I decided to come for a counselling I am still not sure why I am here. There are some of them who are in the session since someone has told them to do so and they are blindly following the suggestion. Some of them simply come as they don’t have any one to talk to. Some also mention that probably they have ‘lost it’ and so they should seek professional help before going ‘mad’.
Now – a – days every answer is available on Google and most of us refer to this incredible medium to gain information. In the same way clients also read about counselling before coming to the session. I don’t say that some amount of exploration before coming to a professional is incorrect but this may often give us an unclear picture to our problem. Every problem each person faces is unique and therefore the approach to overcome it would need some amount of individuality.
The answer to this question lies within the problem. Counseling is not needed for every problem an individual faces in life. Every individual lives a fulfilling life if they have a goal. Any achievable goal helps us to focus, which gives direction to every individual life.
Once my father attended a seminar and shared his experience with me. The orator asked the audience that, ‘When did lord Rama and Lord Krishna die’? Everyone sitting in the audience gave random answers but the orator didn’t approve of them. Then he said that Lord Rama and Lord Krishna died when they killed Ravana and Kansa respectively. He meant that once their life goals were achieved they died. Likewise, if an individual doesn’t know his goal would wander all his life in no direction at all. So, if one lacks a goal that’s when counseling is needed.
Also, many of us get stuck in a problem for ages and every effort to overcome the problem seems meager. Reading this statement can ring bells to a lot of people. Counseling is necessary when a problem seems never ending and sustains for a long period of time making it difficult for individuals to achieve their goals.
When once I know that when is counseling needed the other misconceived thought is, ‘Who is a counselor’? Is this person a face reader, mind reader, fortune teller, magician, advice giver or none of these? Some readers may find these adjectives strange but this is a preconceived notion many people still carry.
When people meet me socially often to my surprise they ask me, “So what have you understood about me by looking at my face and how will my future be”? Some more questions people ask,’Friends often come to me to take advice, so do you think I should also start practicing on my own?’. ‘Will you finish counselling in 2 hours and solve my problem…and can we complete the whole therapy in one session of 2 hours?’. ‘Please give me some advice so that I am able to be happy’.
My only concern to mention these thoughts is that counselors are not people carrying a magic-wand who will transform people, absolutely wipe out problems, eliminate emotional disturbance from everybody’s life. They facilitate individuals to set life goals and eventually achieve them and ultimately reduce sustained emotional disturbance. Also, if a problem develops over a period of time, an individual will also take time to come over it.
It is extremely important that people practice to unlearn their irrational beliefs to relearn logical, pragmatic(goal oriented) and rational beliefs as counseling does not spoon feed people but makes them deal with their problems for life on their own through the counselor’s facilitation as it is not a lifelong process. Counseling is an effective medium to rationally deal with sustained problems and eventually become a fully functional individual.