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Even though counselling and psychology services in Australia are becoming more popular and slowly losing their taboo, there are still many people wondering “how could counselling help me?” Troublingly, there remains a certain level of stigma around seeking therapy, with many people still under the misunderstanding that counselling or psychology services are only for the severely mentally ill. In this blog article, we take a look at the personal experiences of three individuals who explain how counselling helped them to recover – from everything from trauma to needing a helping hand with feeling comfortable in their own skin. If you’re wondering how counselling could help you, read on!

But first…what can counselling help with?

Counselling can help you to improve your life in SO many ways. In fact, the ways in which counselling can help are almost too numerous to list! Here are just a few of the benefits of counselling:

  • Counselling empowers and heals you: Counselling can improve your self-esteem, help you to realise your worth, and empower you to seek out the changes that you want for your life. Whether recovering from past trauma or suffering from a mental health concern such as anxiety or depression, counselling can help you to heal, and give you back the power that you feel you’ve lost.
  • Counselling offers important information and support: Counselling is about so much more than simply talking to your therapist. Your trained and experienced counsellor will assist you with a wealth of knowledge, tips, information, and strategies to achieve your goals for therapy. From strategies to better manage your anxiety, to tips on improving your communication skills or confidence, to highly specialised techniques such as hypnotherapy, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)[MvN1] , an experienced counsellor has a wide range of options for supporting you in your counselling journey.
  • Counselling enables you to become the best version of yourself: Counselling can not only help you to heal, but will also enable you to become the person you truly want to be. In working with your counsellor, you will unlock your desires, the things that have been holding you back, and tap into your true potential for change. Be it hoping to become a more motivated and efficient person, to tackling your anxiety or depression and releasing its hold over your life, to improving your mindset to live a happier life – counselling is, in its purest form, designed to help you make the changes you desire in your life.

“Counselling helped me through the worst year of my life” – Linda’s story

In an article for Counselling Directory, Linda Underwood writes about how seeing a counsellor regularly has helped her to overcome a traumatic year, come to terms with her husband’s chronic and life-threatening illness, and realise that despite all odds, there is an alternative to living with emotional turmoil and depression. She writes about her experiences with her counsellor, Martin:

“He has helped me through what I would describe as the worst year of my life, having gone through emotional turmoil and depression, the loss of both my parents and coping with a husband who has a chronic lung disease.”

Linda’s experienced and compassionate counsellor has helped her to recover:

“Martin has helped me see things in a different perspective and has helped me to realise that I have a different alternative to darkness. I can only thank him for showing me this new way of thinking. I now value myself so much more and know there is light.”

“I couldn’t stop crying, then counselling changed my life” – Esra’s story

When she started her second year of university, Esra noticed a troubling change in her emotions. Although she describes herself as someone prone to the occasional cry, suddenly she found herself experiencing uncontrollable and unexplainable tears on an increasingly regular basis.

“I began to feel as though I was merely existing each day and not living them. I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness and I wasn’t sure why.”

Not wanting to let the remainder of her university career slip through her fingers, Esra decided that it was time to make a change. What appealed to her most about counselling was the idea of talking to a completely objective person – a stranger – about what had been troubling her. Although family and friends had tried to help, Esra found that she was unable to open up and be truly honest with them. She goes on to explain to The Guardian how seeing a university counsellor made her feel much more comfortable with opening up:

“Without realising it, each week I cried a little less and with each session, it became easier for me to talk about what I had been repressing for so many years. In fact, at my last ever counselling session, I had nothing left to say after just 20 minutes.

I no longer felt the heavy burden of sadness that I had felt before. The counsellor asked me if there was anything else I wished to talk about in my life and for the first time I was able to answer with an honest “no”.”

Esra’s hope, now that she’s found recovery in counselling: That all university students could realise that counselling is open to them, and that they are not alone in feeling lost, anxious, stressed, and more. Counselling not only helped Esra to recover during a time of extreme emotional upheaval and stress, but to change for the better as a person.

“Am I the same person that I was before counselling? No. I never will be. I left that person behind in the dimly lit counselling office. I left my demons there and I only hope that they won’t follow me out any time soon. However, if they do, I will know that the door is open for me to go back and fight them off again like I did the first time.”

‘Counselling has helped me to feel comfortable in my own skin” – Reece

Speaking with a counsellor helped Reece to understand more about their identity, accept themselves for who they are, and steer away from considering self-harm. In their conversations with their therapist, Reece learned important coping strategies, as well as having the chance to talk through their anxieties, negative feelings, and struggles with feeling comfortable in their own skin. Reece, who identifies as non-binary, has seen remarkable changes in themselves.

“I feel comfortable in my own skin and walking outside now. I can open my curtains, look outside, and not feel like everybody’s staring at me. I’m not paranoid anymore and I feel like I have friends.”

Could seeing a counsellor help you?

We hope these stories have helped to shed some light on just how versatile counselling can be. No matter what you’re struggling with – from trauma to low self-esteem, to anxiety, stress, or depression (and so much more) – counselling can help you to overcome your demons, recover and heal, and build strategies for achieving your goals and living your best life. If it’s time for you to reach out and speak with a Gold Coast counsellor, get in touch with us today.

Reviews from our clients:

“After seeing a number of therapists on and off over the years and not making much progress I happened to find Michelle. After only 12 wks working with Michelle, I have made more progress in this short period than in all the previous yrs of therapy. I loved her holistic approach in particular, and that she helps you find balance and solutions in all areas of your life, including how health issues affect your thoughts and behaviours. She also has a belief in the spiritual side of this world which I loved. I know that Michelle can help me create the life that I am dreaming of, free from fear. Thank you Michelle.”  – Nicola, via True Local

“I completed the perfectionist program with Michelle and it was the best investment I’ve ever made in myself. Completing the perfectionist program I have learnt to live more in the moment and I’m well on the way to live my best life. Michelle’s holistic approach and easy to use daily tools, meditations and reflections are now part of my daily life. Thank you Michelle for showing me how to be the best me.” – Martina, via Facebook

“I was looking for a psychologist last year when I felt my anxiety, weight and loss of love and [self-care] for myself was taking over my life. Michelle has been a constant in my life and has opened not only my eyes but my whole awareness of who I am, my values what makes me me, and really understand myself. I’ve stopped being so hard on myself which really does feel like a weight off my shoulders. It is now up to me to continue with my plan to live my best healthy and happy life. Thank you Michelle at Integrated Health Specialists. I can not thank you enough.” Donna, via Google Reviews

Michelle van Namen
Author: Michelle van Namen