When you struggle to handle life and find yourself dealing with anxiety, stress, compulsions, etc. on a regular basis, counselling could be a help. The following is more information on what a counsellor does and how different types of counselling can benefit you and help you live a more fulfilled, content life.

What is a Counsellor?

A counsellor is a person whose profession involves helping you learn to cope with various emotional issues and behavioral/mental problems. They organize counselling sessions one-on-one or work within a group or couple setting, depending on the specific type of counselling you undergo. Their training provides them with the skills necessary to teach you to cope with mental illness and help you live a “normal life.”  In Australia, a counsellor isn’t required to have specific training in order to counsel, though most do have training and qualifications. To determine if a counsellor you are considering has this valuable training, check to see if they are registered with the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists or look for their name on other similar registers.

How to Know You Need Counselling

It’s normal when you lose a loved one or friend, are going through a financial crisis or divorce, are facing a big change in your life, lose a job, dealing with poor health, or see a dream die for you to become depressed and to feel hopeless. However, it’s not normal for this depressed state to last for weeks or months at a time. In fact, when depression or anxiety moves outside a temporary emotional state and begins to affect your ability to cope with life, show up for work, attend events, it is likely you need the guidance of a counsellor to help you once again see the light of day. If you are facing a difficult emotional situation, not just depression, such as the breakdown of a marriage or disagreements with your children or friends, this also could indicate a situation where counselling could be advantageous. In general, any time life has become difficult to handle, for whatever reason, counselling can help. It’s also important to note that it is not an indication of weakness to reach out for such help, but instead a sign of strength to recognize the benefit counselling can have in your life.

Types of Counselling

Thankfully, there are many types of counseling services available today, ensuring there is help available for any issue. The following is a breakdown and definition pertaining to some of the most common types of therapy:

Individual Counselling

As an individual, you have to be able to function in a healthy way in order to interact with others, sustain a relationship and the like. Therefore, if there is some issue that is causing you difficulty, such as depression, anxiety, compulsions, or phobias, individual counseling sessions can help. If you have dealt with past abuse and it has shaped you for the worse, counselling can help you heal. Even if your life has been pretty good, but you just don’t do well in social situations or have difficulty relating to others, again counseling can help.

Relationship Counselling, Marriage Counseling, Family Therapy/ Family Counseling, Couples Counselling

This type of counselling is one of the most common. It makes sense when you think about it. When relationships aren’t working within the family unit, this represents our relationships with the people whom we love the most. No wonder these issues are difficult to handle.  They affect us at our very core. Therefore, when you’re dealing with a relationship issue, either in a marriage setting or otherwise, going to counselling as a family or couple can be helpful. It can even save your relationship. At the very least by going to counselling, you will know you are giving your relationship the very best chance at success. Most counselling sessions for family or couple problems take place as a couple. However, the counsellor might also meet with you individually as well in case you don’t feel comfortable addressing your concerns in front of your spouse or significant other. When issues involve the whole family unit, not just a couple, other methods might be employed. The idea of counselling is to dig down and determine the root of the issue, then address that cause and create a healthy family unit once again.

Anger Management

Anger isn’t always a negative emotion. In fact, according to many experts, it can even be a good thing as it allows you to express your emotions, not stuff them down inside. However, when anger turns to violence or abusive, it has to stop. If you have difficulty managing your anger and frequently find yourself striking out at those around you, anger management could be right for you. Counselling in the form of anger management will help you recognize your triggers. A trigger is something that happens right before you typically lose control of your anger, or what you feel “causes” your outbursts. Anger management will also provide you ways to avoid these triggers and help you learn coping skills or alternative ways to express your emotions. Counselling can also get to the bottom of the reasoning behind your anger. Often there is a deep seated issue, not related to the present situation, that causes you to lash out. When you discover this cause, you can address it, find healing, and hopefully better manage your outbursts in the future.

Grief and Loss Counselling

There are many types of grief and loss. You can grieve over all the following situations:

  • The empty nest phase, when your older child leaves home.
  • Moving away from friends and family, separation.
  • Having a child with a substance abuse issue, mental illness, terminal illness, etc.
  • Facing the reality of infertility or a miscarriage.
  • Being diagnosed with a terminal disease or dealing with a chronic illness that affects your day-to-day life.
  • Facing work related changes, such as retrenchment, retirement, unemployment.
  • Dealing with separation or divorce.
  • Suffering the loss of a loved one or friend, this type of grief can be especially profound for parents who lose children or deal with the loss of a loved one due to suicide.

Grief is a real emotion that can negatively impact your way of life, and the above situations represent just some of the many situations that can cause grief. Grief involves intense feelings of sadness and can even include anger, loneliness, denial, numbness and shock. The process through grief can be brief or drawn out, and grief affects each person differently. Therefore, no two people will handle the same loss equally. Grief for some becomes overwhelming, constant and painful. If you are dealing with such a loss or change in life and are finding it hard to go on living life as you did before, grief counselling can provide much needed hope. Though no amount of counselling will ever restore the life lost, it can help you learn to live in a new normal without the person you lost by your side.

Counselling For Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Unfortunately, alcohol and drug addiction are realities for many people. There is no economic station immune to its effects, though some backgrounds and socioeconomic situations make people more prone to having such problems. According to healthdirect, some 15% of Australians currently use illicit drugs, and around 5% claim they have used a pharmaceutical drug improperly within the past year. In addition, more than 40% of Australians, aged 14 and up, admit to using an illicit drug at least once during their lifetime. This means the scope of the problem is huge. Of course, since Australia’s laws govern the use of such drugs, many people addicted to drugs find themselves in legal trouble as well. Additional risks associated with drug use include personal issues, mental health problems and more. Thankfully, drug and alcohol abuse counselling can help you overcome your addiction to substances and regain control over your life.

Eating Disorder Counselling

There are several types of eating disorders including binge eating, bulimia, anorexia and more. These are mental conditions that have a negative impact on a person’s ability to eat properly and maintain a healthy body weight.  Counselling can determine what mental issues a person is struggling to control.  counsellors then guide these people out of the disorder and into a healthier way of living.

Care Giver or Carers’ Counseling

Serving as a person’s carer who is suffering with mental or physical health issue brings about a host of unique challenges. You have to be extremely patient with them, even as they struggle to properly communicate with you, and are forced to accept their situation in life. You might find talking to someone in the form of counselling to be beneficial for you as a carer, by helping you remain mentally sound as you serve your loved one in this capacity. It might also help you understand the struggles the person you are caring for is facing in a medical sense.

Childhood Counseling

Being a kid isn’t an easy task, thanks to the influx of bullying and such issues into the fabric of society. Therefore, counselling with children, teenagers and young adults is vitally important.  In addition, when a child is hurt emotionally or physically, it can cause lasting mental and emotional wounds. Thankfully, childhood counselling addresses the issues kids face and helps them deal with these problems properly, forming a healthy foundation for adulthood.

How to Find a Counsellor? How Much Does it Cost?

If you think you might benefit from a type of counselling listed above, talk to your doctor and asked to be referred to such a professional. It’s difficult to ascertain exactly how much you can expect to pay as fees range from counsellor to counsellor. However, you can know that your life will greatly benefit from putting your own mental health and emotional stability in the forefront. As such, it is well worth the investment.

Austrilain Registers of Counsellors and Psychotherapists: http://www.arcapregister.com.au/

General Source: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/counsellors-and-counselling

Counsellors at Perfect Wellness

Michael Jones
Michael is a qualified and registered counsellor, educator and mental health influencer. He is registered with the Australian Counselling Association and the Queensland College of Teachers. Michael is driven by his desire to help people live their best lives possible.
Dr Amelia Shaw
Dr Amelia Shaw is a counsellor with 15 years of experience working with couples, families and children in the areas of counselling and research. She currently accepts couples, parents and people suffering from depression and anxiety.