the perils of counselling  

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I recently indulged in a counselling experience on Facebook and I thought I might share with you part of it.

Dog at therapist: Actually, I'm fine. I just like to have a place where I'm allowed on the couch.Though it helps many and quite a few people may even become addicted to it, counselling is not for everyone and, most of all, cannot be done just by anyone.

I volunteered as a sex and relationship counsellor with the University of Toronto Sexual Education and Peer Counselling Centre back when I was a student. I wrote a test, I was then called for 3 interviews and after I was finally accepted, I went through a few weeks of training. What I learned, essentially, is that as a counsellor you have to be extremely patient, you have to do a lot of listening, you need to help your client come to their own conclusions (which may very well be different than yours) and it’s pretty much all about them, not you. Needless to say, to do this well it takes a big effort and if you are helping a friend, you run the risk of them becoming addicted to it or overusing your time, which is something that wouldn’t be good for either of you. Which is why I don’t do it often and I don’t offer it unless a friend expressly asks for it.

Take, for instance, a conversation with a cousin – she offered to listen, knowing I’m going through some tough times, but I declined.
  • Conversation started August 1
  • 9:43am; Vara: spune-mi si mie ce mai faci.
  • 12:40pm; Zamo: si bine, si rau. tu?
  • 2:58pm; Vara: de ce rau? De ce ai nevoie?
  • 3:24pm; Zamo: rabdare si tutun. imi faci rost de tigari si mestecau?
  • 3:31pm; Vara: fii mai clar. Zii. Culc copilul. N-am rabdare prea multa, dar pentru tine am. Te ascult.
  • 3:46pm; Zamo: mno. te linisteste si te culca!

    iti cer tigari si mestecau fiindca asta imi tot ceri tu de cate ori ne vedem.

  • 3:54pm; Vara: mda.. m-am prins,cu greu dar m-am prins. Dar eu nu te-am mai vazut de vreo 6 ani, e normal sa te intreb. Cum o duci?
  • 3:55pm; Zamo: probleme, chestii. stii ca poti sa ma suni, nu?

    (la nr de Bucuresti de fix)

    031-6300068 EXT xx1

  • 4:14pm; Vara: pai cum pot sa te sun? Unde esti acum, in ce loc, tara, oras...? Bine, te sun maine de la job. Ce probleme ai? Si tu m-ai întreba

    noapte buna

  • 6:42pm; Zamo: sunt in Toronto, dar am numar in Bucuresti, deci pentru tine nu conteaza unde sunt, conteaza ca platesti ca si cum ai suna pe cineva din Bucuresti pe fix
  • 6:49pm; Vara: ok! M-am trezit acum, aiurea. Te sun maine, adica azi, de la job.
  • August 1
  • 10:01pm; Zamo: ci ma suna, atunce
  • August 2
  • 6:13am; Vara: te-am sunat dar nu am reusit sa vorbesc cu tine, am vorbit cu un robot telefonic, pardon, cu doi... ce sa fac?
  • 7:11am; Zamo: traieste-ti viata din plin!
  • 10:05am; Vara: deci nu vrei sa vorbesti cu mine
  • August 2
  • 1:06pm; Zamo: bravo, asta-i concluzia

    Seen Aug 2

Animated gif, black and white, lady saying: I might need therapy, but that's okay.

More recently, an old friend – who, incidentally, is also a psych major – needed me to listen. I obliged.
  • 2:54pm; Lila: Recent am avut o experienta neobisnuita si as vrea sa ti-o impartasesc, insa acum nu pot, trebuie sa ies; cand ai timp? Daca vrei, evident...mi-ar ajuta parerea ta. Deci, esti 'willing to help' ???

  • 2:59pm; Zamo: sigur, si eu sunt nitel prins acum, dar mai incolo, nicio problma

  • 3:00pm; Lila: Ok, thx

  • 3:22pm; Lila: Eu am terminat ce aveam, asa ca te astept pe tine cand poti, te rog sa imi spui

  • 3:29pm; Zamo: Skype?
  • 3:30pm; Lila: Pai nu as vrea sa ma auda vrea doar typing...

  • 3:36pm; Lila: E incomod pt tine?

  • 3:39pm; Zamo: e cam ciudat sa vb in secret. nu putem vb cumva fara teama asta?

    plus ca tu nu prea stii sa te ascunzi, el o sa ghiceasca ceva

  • 3:40pm; Lila: cam pus punctul pe "i"...

    Exact despre o experienta secreta e vorba


    Daca nu te simti ok cu asta, nu-i bai

    Chiar nu pot sa ii spun experienta

    Se va supara

    Insa pe mine pa framanta altele

  • 3:42pm; Zamo: putem intra in skype si type in skype, dar prefer sa te vad cand vorbim


  • 3:44pm; Lila: Nu ma simt ok cu asta, nu ma simt ok cu povestea asta si mi-e greu sa ma mai si vezi, stii?

    Nu e atat de grav

    Nu s-a intamplat nimik real

    Insa ma uimeste reactia mea

    Deschiderea mea la nou

    Ma seaca

  • 3:45pm; Zamo: fascinant
  • 3:46pm; Lila: Da...

    E fascinanr

  • 3:46pm; Zamo: l-ai inselat?
  • 3:46pm; Lila: So, cum vb ?


    Mental , as putea spune ca da

    Vrei pe whatts up?


    Prin mai am fost la o conferinta

    De profil

    Si am vrur sa plec inaunte de final, ma grabeam

    Cineva m-a oprit

    A iesit dupa mine

    Din sala

    Sa facem schimb de carti de vizita

    Despre el e vorba

    Nu mi s-a parut nimik deosebit sau strange

    Desi atingerea a fost una destul de apropiata, insa am zis ca am eu gargauni...

    Dupa plecare m-a asaltat cu mesaje, a doua zi emailuri

    Toate cu un continut legat de conferinta , cv, job, training, formari, etc

    Ma urmaresti?

  • 3:53pm; Zamo: adevarul e ca tie intotdeauna ti-a cam placut sa fii asaltata
  • 3:54pm; Lila: Exact

    Bine punctat

    In prima faza nu am raspuns

    Cateva zile

    Dupa care, vazand ca pastreaza continutul asta safe

    I-am raspuns

    Nu stiu cum dracu'

    Insa in 2 zile vorbeam despre sex

    Dar nu imi amintesc cum am ajuns atat de repede

  • 3:56pm; Zamo: la modul impersonal?
  • 3:56pm; Lila: Si abrupt

    Nu, foarte personal

    O luna si ceva

    Mam vb zilnic

    Ora de ora

    Absolut obsedant

    Daca il vezi, zici ca e un tip absolut decent

  • 3:58pm; Zamo: si? what's ze problem?
  • 3:58pm; Lila: Pai

    Am obosit rau eu la un moment dat

    Si i-am cerut sa ne oprim

    Si ne-am oprit

  • 3:59pm; Zamo: si eu am o prietena care face la fel

    zice ca o ustura dupa o vreme

  • 3:59pm; Lila: Adica?

  • 3:59pm; Zamo: dar cand pun mana e inca topita

    so i'm like, wtf?

  • 3:59pm; Lila: Ce o ustura?

  • 3:59pm; Zamo: cum ce?
  • 4:00pm; Lila: Pai eu vb despre sec virtual dear


    Nu ne-am vazut decat o data cand ne-am cunoscut

  • 4:00pm; Zamo: eu am probleme mai concrete, dupa cum vezi
  • 4:00pm; Lila: Si inca o data

  • 4:01pm; Zamo: pai si ce tot vb atat? are el probleme sau ai tu fantezii?
  • 4:01pm; Lila: Pai problema nu ti-am spus-0 inca

    Fantezii amandoi

    Ne-am oprit pt ca nu ma puteam focuss la job

    Ma stimula incontinuu

    Tampita de mine

    Si am vrur sa reiau

    Insa... Suprise


  • 4:02pm; Zamo: n-a mai vrut el
  • 4:02pm; Lila: Nu a mai vrut


    Asta m-a dat complet peste cap

    Si unde ma zapacea

  • 4:03pm; Zamo: mai nou, barbatii au invata sa faca fite!


  • 4:03pm; Lila: Acum nu mai vrea decat sa vb dar nu despre sex...



    Eu cred ca a gasit o inlocuitoare

    Si i-am spus direct

    Si s-a suparat

    Deci... Am avut dreptate

  • 4:04pm; Zamo: Nu neaparat. Poate are si el mandria lui..
  • 4:05pm; Lila: Mda

    E foarte orgolios

    A spus ca el chiar nu are nimik de spus

    Am reluat pr cateva zile

    La un moment dar

The rest is encrypted: ***
LE: I thought I add some testimonials picked off tumblr from clients who have experienced a professional counsellor - i.e., somebody who does this seriously, with a plan, without needing to control too harshly for potential addiction.
  • Counselling went so well this morning, I was complimented for being articulate as well which meant so much to me and helped them to better understand what I’m struggling with. Going back in two weeks and starting off on how to handle my self esteem issues, then moving on to anger issues after that in all honesty, I’m really excited to start sorting myself out! (f0xcub)
  • M - have you ever attended therapy? I too suffer from anxiety however after seeing a therapist for over a year am now in control of my anxiety and panic disorder - I would recommend it to anyone suffering from a mental health problem. The important thing is to make sure you and your therapist are a good match, even if it means "shopping around" for one. I briefly saw 2 before my present one only to dread going and therefore not make any progress.
  • I haven’t been to therapy exactly but I’ve been to counselling (which is sometimes the same thing or similar enough). You definitely have to shop around but it’s my preferred method of treatment. My first counsellor was horrible and I only saw her a couple times but the second one I saw was amazing and had such a positive impact on my thought processes- although more so for my depression I think. I did stop having panic attacks for a few years but my anxiety never really faltered so I don’t know.

    I’m actually starting counselling again on Tuesday so I encourage others to look into York’s counselling or counselling through their doctors if you think you would benefit! It’s a great option to consider. I know for myself that I’m really sensitive to prescriptions so unfortunately medication isn’t a viable option for me. I know it works for a lot of people but I went through 10+ with so many horrible side effects o.0

    Now I take care of things myself if need be and I mostly focus on prevention through stress management and communication with my partner and friends and also counselling when I feel I’m in dire need (it’s like a mental health refresher for me). (yorkulife)

  • Apparently the intake sessions are different to normal ones, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Before I started the session, I had to fill out a bunch of stuff, include a 1-5 scale on a bunch of different questions. When I went in, he had it printed out, but I’m 98% sure he didn’t even read it or anything, which kinda bugged me. I was crying 2 minutes into it, and didn’t stop the whole time. He asked why I came in, and I said (in a bit more detail) that I was really struggling socially, not just that I have no friends, but that I’m becoming increasingly anxious in social situations. The other reason was that I’m feeling super overwhelmed by school, and have not even looked at any of the assignments/due dates etc, because I know it’ll stress me out more, and in week 3 I’m already behind, and kinda mentioned the anxiety attacks. But he really didn’t focus on that at all, he was more interested in my self-esteem issues. Which, I can see how it’s interrelated, me not feeling good enough, so thinking I’m unworthy of people’s time, but also being a perfectionist, so procrastinating work, and being overwhelmed etc (although I feel that my anxiety is getting much worse, and I feel like it’s less related). I kinda wished he had touched on the other things a little more, or pointed out how some of these issues are related, so we’ll focus on X to help with Y. (casscountsdown)
  • Just had the most bimbotic discussion in class:
  • So as part of my counseling module, we’re given scenarios and expected to comment on it, placing ourselves in the role of the counsellor.

    Today’s scenario involved the following facts (whatever I have not stated below was never mentioned or implied in the given scenario)

    - a man and a woman arrive for couple counseling
    - they have a longstanding difficulty with intimacy
    - during an individual session the man discloses that he has had sexual relations with other men, which the woman is unaware of.
    - he states that he is not homosexual, but that he requires a safe outlet for his unmet sexual needs and that the gay scene provides him with ‘no strings’ sex.
    - The man was adamant that he wanted to continue his relationship with the woman, and he was keen to be intimate with her. (curiouscabaret)

I hope the above gives a better idea of what counselling is about and how fine is the line between being helpful and being too helpful. If you’re getting counselling, make sure you get someone with experience and good referrals. If you get it for free, you have to keep your demands low..

Sources / More info: fb, nem, wiki-counselling, tmblr

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Wednesday, August 28, 2013 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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