Is counselling dangerous?

Danger sign with question markIs counselling dangerous? Quite apart from those situations where a person seeking assistance is duped into trusting a fraudster who has set themselves up as a professional but who, in reality has no real training or skills, is there a danger to coming to counselling? Before this question can be properly addressed, we must first answer a different question: Why is a particular person coming to counselling in the first place?

If the answer to this second question is any of the following:

1: To seek validation that their wife, boss, husband, neighbour etc… is inherently wrong and that they’re right.

2: To be hypnotised into “being happy” and have all of their difficulties removed in a single, one hour session.

3: To be able to sit, listen, and have the therapist “fix them” much like an auto mechanic sorts out a dodgy carburettor.

If the answer to any of the above questions is “Yes, that is why I want to come to counselling”, or if the hope is that by coming to counselling things will all be sorted out with little effort or change on their part…. then yes, counselling is dangerous. I say this because at some point in the process, if one wishes for counselling to be successful and any sort of lasting happiness or peace from the problems they are experiencing is to be found, then it means that they are going to do at least some work in order to be different. This is why for those who answer “yes” to the above questions counselling is dangerous because the idea that there is personal effort involved probably isn’t really what they want to hear.

Counselling is not a magic potion one can take and then it all becomes better. It is an opportunity to develop a special kind of therapeutic relationship with an experienced, trained professional who will create a safe, non-judgemental environment in which your difficulties can be gently explored. Through this exploration we sift through things as slowly and/or carefully as each individual needs. The result of this process of teasing out the different elements of your difficulties is that we are then able to identify those things that are down to the behaviour and attitudes of others (over which we are essentially powerless), and those elements which can be changed.

Once this bit of effort has been made however, in what is often a surprisingly short time, people find themselves feeling as though they are once again in control of themselves and life in general. It is not possible within the limits of this blog to explain precisely how this happens but my experience over that last 15 years is that with small amount of self-honesty and willingness, life will feel different. If you would like to find out more about how counselling may help, please feel free to telephone me on 01279 834467 for a no obligation conversation prior to booking an appointment.