There is a slow movement towards acceptance in discussing openly mental health and personal troubles. But how acceptable does it seem to visit a counselor, though? Potentially, you might have only gone to a counselor – as I did – when you have nowhere else to go and frustratingly to lie around and to feel stuck.
My first hand at counseling was when I was in college. I was utterly filled with emotions of guilt, anxiety, and depression that were dominating me during my first semester. Deep within, I was overwhelmed with insecurity and self-hatred, feeling like someone else. This initial counseling experience was a monotonous event of three weekly sessions offering merely a taste of what might become in the long term. Even with my very little eagerness for the counseling session, my desire for self-discovery was dampened, as my concerns were heard and sincerely taken into consideration for the first time.
After a few years, with some travel experience and a college degree, I wished to have discovered myself and removed my internal demons. However, I feel that I haven’t changed much in terms of my mental health. I reluctantly understood that I possibly had to look within myself to recover, so I went into counseling again, which went on for a year.
At that time, I felt that it was truly an eye-opener to be able to talk freely. My teen years had been difficult at home, and now I could talk safely without being judged. I eventually gradually developed empathy for the younger version of me and a feeling of gratitude for the way I was efficiently coping. Previously, I had been persistently critical of myself. I acknowledged that I had kept mum about my inner troubles and how other people’s opinions became my constant reference point. I now began to listen to myself again.
Until now, I often wonder how and what I would have been if not for counseling. I think I would still be the same self-critical and insecure person, always worried and hesitant about how others would perceive me. Counseling really helped me to relax and foster empathy and kindness. All my negativity hindered me from engraining self-confidence and compassion earlier in my life. I have learned to let go of my past pain and bitterness.
Here are some things I have learned about counseling that helped improve my mindset and, ultimately, my life.
You Learn To Value Yourself.
Perhaps you’ve become clever at pleasing other people. Counseling enabled me to recognize the importance of showing true compassion.
You Will Start To Understand Your Past.
Gradually, your past won’t be painful anymore, and you will embrace how it has influenced what you have become today. There is significant value in comprehending the past and how it has affected your journey through life. Old hurts can heal, and unpleasant experiences can be dealt with.
You Find More Meaning In Your Relationships.
Through regular counseling, you will feel more grateful for the relationships that are vital to you. You might also choose to move a step backward from the unhealthy relationships that you may have had. The therapeutic benefits of counseling provide a practice field for real bonds and relationships.
You Change When You Have Self-Awareness.
Without self-awareness, one can be in total confusion. Developing self-awareness permits you to do a reality check and try to be an observer. You start to find sense in things and situations, subsequently leading to better understanding and clarity.
You Are Capable Of Managing Your Own Thoughts.
Every day, there are apparently about 60,000 thought patterns that come across our minds. With regular counseling, you will soon recognize and manage your thoughts and find potential in honing your mood and mindset in life. Once you start noticing the ‘inside talk’ within your head, you become abruptly more in control of how you think.
You Live In The Present.
If you have depression or anxiety, you may spend time regretting the past or feeling anxious about your future. Counseling helps you learn to be mindful of the things and situations around you – you learn to live in the present. I have felt more serene and connected to the world.
Anxiety Decreases, And You Become Braver.
Perhaps your world was previously daunting and miserable. Through the help of your counselor, who will teach you relaxation and coping strategies, you will slowly be able to overcome the challenges in your life without feeling anxious all the time. Then you can start to make your own safe space and be happy and fulfilled.
You, Will, Know Why Things Didn’t Make Sense.
During the counseling sessions, I was encouraged to recall the things that I did out of depression. I over-ate and even tried to harm myself. Initially, I felt so ashamed, and I didn’t understand why I did them. But after a few months, counseling helped me find sense in what I did. I bravely confronted them, which led me to become braver and stronger than ever.
It Helps You Love Yourself And Others Truly.
When you can be yourself, you begin to feel inner contentment. You slowly permit your counselor to help you by allowing him to intervene with your life and make it better, starting with helping you learn to love yourself and others sincerely. You embrace your imperfectness and love yourself for it. Through this self-love, you will be better at loving others.
Personal growth and development is a process of self-discovery and skill formation, enhancing an individual’s general quality of life. Its process can be applied to many areas of an individual, including mental, social, physical, spiritual, and emotional. These abilities can then be utilized at some point in people’s lives. Personal growth applies to several areas of counseling and coaching for self-awareness, improve skills, foster relationships, and self-understanding. Personal growth entails unraveling precisely what is vital to you and learning skills that will help improve these values.
Most people get stuck in various aspects of their lives. This could mean ensnared or confined in a profession or a life circumstance, or merely stuck in frustration and discontent. It can be perplexing and truly frustrating, and how these feelings have emerged can be unclear. Often, individuals may be attaining everything they have planned to attain, but sadly, they do not feel rewarded or fulfilled as they should be. This can be related to career, identity, sports and fitness, money, spirituality, and relationships. Personal growth counseling is beneficial for anyone who feels a lack of contentment. It can also benefit those who desire to improve their efficiency and boost their ability to enjoy life.
Personal growth counseling can generally help with:
- Developing self-confidence
- Improving decisiveness
- Anger management strategies
- Overcoming anxiety and confusion
- Building self-esteem
- Managing loneliness
Each individual is formed by a different set of abilities, experiences, and views. We must strive to achieve success in defining who we really are and not by those that other people set for us. By realizing what really makes you feel happy and fulfilled, we can create goals and aspirations that will expand our experience. It is also crucial for us to progressively outrun ourselves and objectively scrutinize, which can be daunting.
Counseling For Self-Understanding
Personal growth counseling will guide an individual into helping him maximize equivalence – a state wherein one’s values and beliefs are in line with action and speech. It will enable one with the capability for accomplishment, self-understanding, and the capacity to live and enjoy life at any point. It is a long-term endeavor, and by striving to achieve personal growth and development in your personal and professional life, each of us will learn abilities that we can utilize at any point in our lives – present and future.
In counseling, counselors use themselves as the primary instrument with which to support their clients. If they have not deeply looked into themselves, they will have difficulty providing quality counseling to their clients. To be efficient in their profession, they must possess self-awareness – embracing themselves more completely permits them to provide that same acceptance to their clients.
In managing their clients’ personal triggers during counseling, counselors should have already understood their own process to spot and avoid errors. Often, it may be essential to take a break from their jobs, particularly if they are also going through some personal problems. Not confronting their own issues and concerns may ultimately destroy them as well as their clients.
If a counselor feels incapable of performing his job as a personal growth specialist or does not have a thorough background in the field, he should endorse his client or clients to another practitioner who is more qualified and able to help them.
Self-Awareness And Personal Growth Counseling
Self-awareness, which is acquired through personal growth and development, is possibly crucial in person-focused counseling. This is all about associating with the client in a manner that exemplifies the three fundamental principles of congruence, empathy, and unreserved respect and affection. Aspects of incongruence within us may avert us from recognizing and learning these principles.
Here are some examples:
- If a counselor had an uncharted preconception against, for instance, those with specific sexuality, then found themself with that kind of client during the session, they might not be able to provide unreserved positive regard. This would negatively impact the quality of service that he was capable of providing his clients. It may even be dangerous to them, violating the essential moral standards of altruism (a guarantee that the client shall not be harmed).
- If a counselor had gone through a painful experience that they were not able to address appropriately. Then his client’s experience made him recall his own past hurts; he will most likely be unable to stay with his scope of reference but rather overturning to his own emotions about his own suffering. This keeps him from giving his client empathy, which means putting yourself in other people’s shoes and being with them as they unravel their emotions.
Truly, in personal growth counseling, or in any counseling for that matter, counselors use themselves as the primary tool with which to support and guide their clients. They need to have the self-awareness to teach their clients how to be fully aware and successfully move towards healing and recovery.