Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to my counselling blog. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links at the top of this page
So, you’ve been coming to counselling for a while, and done a lot of talking in the sessions, and thinking in between sessions. Is it time to stop?
Well, of course it depends. It’s entirely up to you how long you continue counselling. It may be just a few sessions, it may make sense for you continue a lot longer than that. The choice is yours.
My objective, from session one, is to help you get to a place where you no longer need to come to counselling. From the beginning, we are working towards an ending. As your counselling progresses, I will be making sure that we regularly discuss the possibility of ending, as I don’t want you to become dependent on counselling for long-term support.
People come to counselling for different reasons, with different objectives in mind, or perhaps with no specific objective in mind. Counselling is a fluid process, and that means that objectives can change as counselling progresses.
If your objective is very clear, the ending may also be clear. So if you’ve come to counselling to help you make an important decision or change, it may be obvious when you’ve done that. Should you take that job in Japan? Should you get married? These questions have “yes or no” answers. And if you’ve come for help with something specific, maybe to give up smoking or deal with your anger better, it may be clear enough when you’ve reached the right time to end counselling.
Some people come to counselling with less clear-cut objectives, perhaps to explore the past or to gain understanding of themselves. If that is your aim, the end point is far less clear, indeed there is potentially no end to the amount of exploration you can do. But still the counselling can reach a natural end-point. You might find yourself saying “I know enough for now”. A new level of understanding can bring a need for a pause, so that the new information can be integrated with the old.
Some people think of counselling as a “safety net” – a place where they can talk about things that feel too difficult to deal with elsewhere. There is comfort in that, but it’s probably preferable for you to be able to discuss (and resolve) difficult stuff yourself. This may mean discussing things with your partner, or it may mean having techniques to deal with difficult situations when they arise. Counselling can help you with these things, so that the safety net becomes less important.
Whenever you finish, whether in a planned or if a sudden way, it’s not necessarily the end. You can always come back to counselling in the future, if you hit a bad patch or want help with a particular issue. The counselling relationship can be an ongoing one. You take your car to the garage when it needs maintenance. You reluctantly visit the dentist when you have toothache. Similarly, your counselling relationship can be ongoing, a source of help or support when you need it.