#ListenUpNG 2018: COUNSELLING AND THE MYTHS SURROUNDING IT (3)

Good evening, tweeps! #ListenUpNG It’s a GOOD FRIDAY! It’s a great day to be bringing you the concluding part of the series: COUNSELLING AND THE MYTHS SURROUNDING IT.

In case you missed the last 2 sessions on #ListenUpNG March Edition, do visit my blog www.kemiodutayo.com/blog to #ReadRestRelaxAndReflect on them. You are sure to be more enlightened on the subject matter.

#ListenUpNG Having understood what Counselling is and who a Counsellor is, the next step is choosing one who will meet the requirements of providing a safe place by guaranteeing confidentiality, boundaries, and a keen, listening ear.

#ListenUpNG In this time of digital directories, clients can check out information online about different counsellors therapists and choose someone who might in some way ‘speak to them’. This means someone they think they will be comfortable with; someone they respect and are willing to open up to.

#ListenUpNG Choosing the Counsellor to ‘use’ by a Client can even be decided from the look of a friendly face; a nurturing listener, specialisms, experience and background – whatever ticks the boxes for that client.

#ListenUpNG Though the counsellor may start off with a list of his or her qualifications and certifications; their approach and how they practice, this is of little or no importance to the clients so far the Counsellor is meeting their needs. In the words of a wise man, “Only fools doubt proofs’.

#ListenUpNG Today, I will continue with some other myths surrounding the Counselling profession. Kindly visit my blog www.kemiodutayo.com/blog to read the first 2 sessions in this series. Here, you get to read more about Counselling and catch up with the other myths

MYTH 11:

#ListenUpNG A COUPLES COUNSELLOR WILL TAKE SIDES

An experienced and professional counsellor will not do this! He or she will be more committed to the marital relationship than either of the spouses. Couple should endervour to choose a counsellor that is a better fit for them; someone they both feel comfortable with

#ListenUpNG COUNSELLING IS UNAFFORDABLE & UNAVAILABLE

Getting trained as a professional counsellor is an expensive venture. The cost of logistics; office space, assessments, the counsellors time and intellectual capacity etc can’t be quantified. All these are put into consideration and charged as counselling fee. However, most counsellors offer pro bono services. Some churches and other places of worship equally have trained counsellors offering their services free of charge

MYTH 12:

#ListenUpNG COUNSELLING IS JUST LIKE TALKING TO A FRIEND

Some of our friebds are really empathic and are good listener naturally. However, they are likely to get caught up emotionally in the drama hence losing their objectivity. A friend can’t really emulate an experienced and professional counsellor with expert level of focused attention, intense listening, insight and appropriate gentle challenge

MYTH 13:

#ListenUpNG MARITAL ISSUES CAN ONLY BE WORKED ON AS A COUPLE

Sincerely, it will be much more effective if marital issues are worked on as a couple. However, a Change in a spouse will definitely affect the dynamics in your marital relationship. With the new knowledge, understanding, perspectives and coping skills garnered by the counsellee during the counselling session, a shift is inevitable.

MYTH 14:

#ListenUpNG SHE IS THE ONE WHO NEEDS COUNSELLING! NOT ME!

Recently, i received a message anonymously. Its obviously from a man judging by the content. It says, “I’m sure my ex will benefit from your services’. The blame-game usually slows down the counselling process and makes things much more difficult. We need to know and always remember that we can’t change other people but can change our reactions to them. Focussing on changing your own behaviour will ultimately create changes in the relationship. Start with yourself! You need counselling too.

MYTH 15:

#ListenUpNG I’M AFRAID COUNSELLING WILL MAKE ME CHANGE MY MIND

Change is the only constant thing in life. The client will need to be made to see the bigger picture and work towards achieving his goals while shunning disempowering emotions like pride, veagence, anger, betrayal etc. Some people are so adamant and think a change of mind means a sign of weakness. They will rather win an arguement and lose the relationship. That will be a grievous error

MYTH16:

#ListenUpNG COUNSELLORS ONLY GIVE ADVICE

Counsellors are there to support and affirm clients own choices and help them arrive at decisions which are comfortable for them. Advice giving is a no no for a counsellor. Suggestions may be made but never imposed. However, in faith based counselling where the clients shared the same faith with the counsellors, the couselling session will ultimately revolve round the tenets of the shared beliefs and faith

MYTH 17:

#ListenUpNG CHANGE IS SIMPLE! YOU DON’T NEED ANYONE TO TALK OR WALK YOU THROUGH IT

Change is not always simple because you will be swimming against the tide, going against mindset and habits that have been firmed overtime. It may therefore take some time abd effort to effect your desired change. Counselling is therefore not a quick fix but a part of an ongoing process of change you are commited to.

MYTH 18:

#ListenUpNG COUNSELLING IS ONLY FOR WOMEN

Though research and statistics reflect that more women attend counselling than men, this dies not negate the fact that counselling is equally beneficial to men. It is for every and anyone, male or female, young or old who wants to explore their inner thoughts, feelings and who seek to confront their issues in a confidential and safe environment with a skilled helper.

MYTH 19:

#ListenUpNG YOU HAVE TO BE DESPERATE TO SEE A COUNSELLOR

This couldnt be further from the truth. As you dont wait till you have a major accident or life threatening condition before seeing a doctor so also you shouldnt wait till you are under immese emotional and psychological pressure before seeing a therapist. Many wise and courageous individuals dont wait till things fall apart and the centre cannot hold! They seek to nip whatever is the source of the problem in the bud. You don’t have to reach a point of desperation before seeking the services of a counsellor.

MYTH 20:

#ListenUpNG COUNSELLING IS A CRUTCH FOR WEAK PEOPLE

This error and misconception cannot be over emphasised! Infact, counselling are for courageous people willing abd ready to face their fears. People that know and understand that CHANGE is the only constant thing in life and though not comfortable or palatable, they are willing to effect the necessary change to take them to their desired destination.

👍 In summary and in wrapping up this enlightening MARCH EDITION on #ListenUpNG do take note of the following:

■ Counselling offers a way to gain perspective on your behaviour, emotions and relationships

■ Counselling provides a means to express your feelings and identify patterns of thinking

■ Counselling alleviates anxiety, depression and anger in their many forms

■ Counselling helps develop communication skills for dealing with conflicts and frustration

■ Counselling is a means for addressing pain, working through loss and adding meaning to your life

■ Counselling may and may not include any of the following methods: advice giving, instruction, skill development, process consultation and or opinion recommendation, suggestions, admonition, warnings etc

Friends! #ListenUpNG Counselling is for people who are courageously facing their fears, people who want more from their life and relationships; people who wants to explore, expand their lives and achieve goals both personally and professionally.

People who believe there is more to life and have purposed that they will rather enjoy it than endure the dudgery life can become!

Till I bring you yet another inspiring and enlightening #RealLifeIssue in our APRIL EDITION on #ListenUpNG Take good care of both your physical and mental health. Go a step further…spare a moment of thought for those around you be your brothers keeper. Tough times never last but tough people do.

Kemi Odutayo
Me4 Counselling Team
Twitter: @KemiOdutayo @me4counselling
Instagram: @KemiOdutayo @me4counselling
Whatsapp: 08070990856

About Kemi Odutayo