Depressed asian girl having consultation with psychologist at cl

All You Need To Know About What Really Happens in Counselling

Did you know that counseling can provide invaluable support for navigating life’s challenges? A study published in the “Journal of Clinical Psychology” reveals that counseling can significantly improve mental health outcomes and overall well-being. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into what truly occurs during counseling sessions, the different therapy approaches, and the benefits you can reap from seeking professional help.

What is Counselling?

what is counselling

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Counselling is a collaborative relationship in which the counsellor helps a client identify their goals, empower them to achieve these and provide emotional support to cope with their concerns.

Understanding Therapy Process

Building Rapport:

The foundation of effective counseling lies in building a strong therapeutic rapport. During the initial sessions, your counselor creates a safe and empathetic space, encouraging open dialogue. 

This rapport-building phase sets the tone for a trusting relationship, allowing you to share your concerns without fear of judgment.

Assessment and Goal Setting:

To tailor the counseling experience to your specific needs, your counselor will conduct an assessment. 

Through guided discussions, you’ll explore the challenges you’re facing, your emotional responses, and your goals for counseling. This collaborative process ensures that the sessions address your unique circumstances.

Recommended Read: Your Emotional Well being Toolkit – 12 Tips for Better Mental Health

Exploring Thoughts and Emotions:

thoughts and emotions

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Counseling sessions involve delving into your thoughts, emotions, and behavioral patterns related to your concerns. 

Your counselor will gently guide you through self-reflection and exploration, helping you gain insights into your experiences. This process can unveil underlying issues that contribute to your challenges.

Applying Therapeutic Techniques:

Based on the assessment and your goals, your counselor will employ appropriate therapeutic techniques. 

These techniques vary based on the counseling approach and may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, talk therapy, mindfulness practices, or other evidence-based methods. Your counselor will collaborate with you to determine the most effective approach for your needs.

Developing Coping Strategies:

One of the core aspects of counseling is equipping you with practical coping strategies. Your counselor will work with you to develop healthy coping mechanisms that empower you to manage stress, anxiety, and emotional challenges. 

These strategies are tailored to your preferences and are designed to be applicable in real-life situations.

Recommended Read: Techniques for Mental Mastery – How to Control Your Mind

What to Expect After the First Session of Counselling:

what to expect after your first counselling session

After your first session, it’s natural to experience a mix of emotions. You might feel a sense of relief from sharing your concerns, but also a heightened sense of awareness about the challenges you’re facing. 

Your counselor will discuss these emotions with you, helping you process your reactions and providing guidance on what to expect in the upcoming sessions.

Recommended Read: The Different Types of Counseling

What Next After the First Session of Counselling:

Subsequent sessions are dedicated to deeper exploration and progress. Your counselor will help you identify patterns, triggers, and potential coping strategies to your challenges. 

Through ongoing conversations, you’ll work collaboratively to set milestones and measure your progress. Consistency is key; regular sessions provide the opportunity for sustained growth and transformation.

Myths vs Facts in Counselling

Myth 1: Does going to Counselling mean I’m weak or ‘crazy’?

Fact 1: There is nothing weak about a person who enters counselling. The individuals who enter counselling are, in fact, taking the first step in coping with their difficulties. A lot of people would view this as courageous. Going into counselling shows that you are willing to learn about yourself and ways to improve your life. It takes strength to call a counsellor to make an appointment. They do not judge their clients — counsellors welcome you. In, a good practice every client’s story is held with confidentiality and respect.

Myth 2: Counseling is only for people who have emotional problems/ for problems that are severe

Fact 2: It is true that some people who have severe mental illnesses work with counsellors to manage symptoms, but counsellors also help people work through everyday problems like marriage, family and relationship issues, sadness, grief, career transitions, or individuals who just want to understand themselves better.

Myth 3: The counsellor is your “psychic” who tells you what to do with your life and how to “fix” your problems/The counsellor will “fix” my problems.

Fact 3: The counsellor is there to help you achieve the goals you set and help you resolve your problems. While counsellors will NOT tell you what to do, they will help you explore the potential ups and down side of your choices.

There are no quick fixes when it comes to mental health. Strengthening your brain through counselling is like strengthening your body through exercise. It takes time, practice, patience, and persistence. Each person who enters counselling is a unique individual, so there is no universal formula to determine how long it will be before a client feels better.


Understanding what happens in counseling empowers you to make informed decisions about seeking professional help. By taking a step towards counseling, you open doors to enhanced emotional well-being, self-discovery, and improved relationships. 

Remember, the process may vary, but the ultimate goal remains the same: to provide you with the tools you need to navigate life’s challenges with resilience and strength.


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