1. Your Counselor is Not a Friend or Family Member
It may sound a little funny, but you don’t want your counselor to become just another friend in your life. The beauty of the counseling relationship is that your counselor is not emotionally connected to you or your world. This allows your counselor to be completely objective and ask provoking questions to get you moving in a new direction.
Any feedback you receive from a friend or family member is inherently a conflict of interest, meaning that the decisions you make in your life effect their lives too. It is not the same with your counselor. Within the counseling process, you have the freedom to make whatever decisions you need to make. It’s always good to hear opinions from caring friends and family members. Receiving feedback from a counselor may land in a completely different way.
2. The Meeting Schedule Helps You Organize Thoughts and Feelings In a New Way
Most clients meet with their counselor on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. These routines are more than just mere logistics. There’s something meaningful and effective when setting up a recurring schedule with your counselor.
Recurring meetings with your counselor provide you touch points during your week (or month) that allow you to prepare for conversation and change, and to help you measure your success. It’s easy to get caught up in your mental and emotional world. Having a regular counseling schedule helps put physical boundaries around your thoughts and feelings. The schedule helps make the process of life change more tangible.
3. You Can Lie To Your Counselor About Anything
Okay, so you may not want to lie to your counselor. But, as strange as it may sound, you can if you want to. Some people think that a counselor acts as a sort of “lie detector“ similar to an interrogation scene in a cop movie. People think that their counselor is seeking to catch discrepancies or mistakes in their story. This assumption can make clients feel scared to be completely open with a counselor.
The truth is that you can tell your counselor anything you want to. Your counselor is trained to listen and accept whatever you have to tell them. If something sounds off, your counselor will probably ask something like, “Hey, you mentioned something earlier that I’m having trouble making sense of. Can you help me understand what you mean?” With a counselor, you can express your thoughts and feelings freely. No need to think too hard about what you’re saying or filter out certain thoughts. The counseling relationship is a safe place for you to be yourself and say whatever you care to say.
4. Your Counselor’s Office Becomes Your Own Little Oasis
It’s a noisy world! Hundreds of attempts are made every day to get your attention. Driving down the street or scrolling through your phone, it’s easy to get caught up in the noise of life. It’s important for individuals to have a quiet space to get away from it all.
Your counselor's office is designed to help you turn the volume down on all the things around you. It’s a place to go to breathe, think, and discuss things that you may normally not have time to discuss. In addition, your counselor can train you to slow down your mind and heart rate. Sitting in your counselors office can help you find some much needed rest.
5. Your Counselor Is Not the Expert On Your Life. You Are!
Another unexpected benefit of hiring a counselor is that your counselor won’t try to be an expert on your life. If you’re considering hiring a counselor, you might be thinking, “I’d like to talk with a counselor, but they are probably just going to tell me what to do and how to live my life.” If this is you, you’re not alone. Many people have this fear before hiring a counselor.
The good news here is that your counselor will never tell you what to do or how to live your life. Believe it or not, counselors don’t give advice or directives. Your counselor knows they aren't the expert on your life. Instead, they are an expert on mental and emotional health and the process of change. The power of counseling is the act of uniting your expertise with theirs in order to get you moving again.