When I ask my patients what does the word "counselling" mean for them, these are some of their replies.
- To help me solve problems
- To help me learn about myself
- To listen to me and support me
- To teach me on how to solve problems
- Sitting on a couch and talk about myself and my problems
This is my take on what counselling is all about.
Counselling for me is in essence, about teaching people how to regulate their mind and their emotions. Most people are not even aware that they cannot regulate their mind, so in essence, their mind is controlling them. Think about it in this way.
Think of a time when you reacted to something, and you did not wish to react like that anymore. Were you able to stop that? Were you able to prevent that next time? If you can't, then your mind is controlling you to some extent.
So, the counselling process including CBT and ACT, is to help people understand their mind, its conditioning, why does it react the way it does, how to "recondition" the mind, and just as importantly, how to help the mind to accept the things that one cannot change. In essence, counselling helps you to become more "emotionally intelligent".
This process takes self awareness, knowledge, application of knowledge, repetition, repetition, and more repetition until it becomes habit.