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Counselling can be a very rewarding and effective way to sort through the emotional baggage that’s been holding you back. In fact, if you’ve just started seeing a counsellor on the Gold Coast for the first time, you might be feeling a lot better straight away! But should you continue counselling if you’re feeling better? YES! And here’s why.

If you’ve been bottling up some feelings for quite some time, counselling can make you feel better even after just one session. And after you’ve built a great rapport and are feeling very comfortable with your therapist, you might be feeling as good as you’ve ever felt. But this is not a reason to stop seeing your counsellor immediately, and many people leave therapy far too soon as a result of how much better they feel in the beginning. There are several key reasons why it may be wiser to continue with your therapy, even if you’re feeling better.

Your counsellor has a plan for you

From the moment you walk through the door and start to reveal what has been bothering you, a good therapist will start to develop a plan for you – to get you back to feeling better, and to ensure you stay that way! This plan will have a number of steps and stages that you need to go through, and you should not stop your counselling sessions before each of these has been tackled. Talk to your counsellor about what their plan is for you right from the start, and you may discuss a program or treatment plan that is going to best help you achieve what you hope to achieve from counselling. Having clear goals and expectations from the start is really important.

Counselling has its ups and downs

Just like your emotional life, counselling has its ups and downs. For some people, feeling better straight away is the norm, and it can be an overwhelming relief to finally be talking to someone about their emotional and mental health concerns. For others, dredging up their deepest and darkest feelings can feel very threatening and negative at first. But the truth for many people undertaking counselling is that it can be an emotional rollercoaster. There may be periods of feeling elated and as though a weight has been lifted from your shoulders, just as there may be periods where you are feeling vulnerable and low. Your counsellor is there to support you through all of these ups and downs, not just to make you feel better in the moment, but to help you to be more emotionally resilient for the rest of your life, by equipping you with skills to use in the future when needed. Whether it’s feeling good or feeling tough, it’s important to stick it out.

No follow-through might be a part of your emotional baggage

Are you someone who has trouble finishing something you’ve started? Perhaps you’re the type of person to quit things early or lose motivation? Are you after a ‘magic wand’, and not really wanting to do the work required to make real changes? Alternatively, you might be someone who has a tendency to downplay your emotions to make others around you feel more comfortable, or to avoid confrontation. All of these may be signs of a certain habit or mindset that you leads you to quit with something like counselling, before it’s a good idea to do so. For you, it might be one of your deep-seated coping mechanisms. You’re not alone. But it’s important to recognise when you’re moving too quickly, giving up too soon, or not finishing something that could be of real benefit to you. Your counsellor will help you decide when you’re truly ready to finish with your counselling sessions, so ask for their thoughts and trust in their experience.

Counselling is not just for the hard times

Although you might seek out a counsellor to help you overcome trauma or uncover emotional and mental concerns that you have, counselling is not only there for you when you’re feeling at your lowest. A good counsellor will help you develop life skills, healthy coping mechanisms, and strategies for reaching the goals you hope to achieve. Seeing a counsellor is, for many people, an important part of their everyday lives – just like exercising or spending time with friends.

Don’t skip on the exit strategy even when feeling better

Just as your counsellor has a plan for your therapy – which might be a program, a specific set of issues to tackle, or something else – they also have a plan for your timely, healthy, and safe exit from therapy. Simply cancelling your sessions when you’re starting to feel better is often a bad idea, and can leave a few emotional ‘loose ends’ untied. Your counsellor is trained and experienced in helping their clients to transition in and out of therapy, and will set you up for success by ensuring a proper exit from therapy. Don’t skip out on this crucial step by cancelling your sessions too soon.

Whether you initially sought out counselling to help you overcome some troubling issues, to recover from trauma, or to get your life back on track and have you reaching your goals, your counsellor has a strategy for your emotional growth. Be sure to ask any questions you need when in your sessions, and work with your counsellor on a clear and realistic outline for what this plan might look like. You can always reassess where you’re at, at every stage, and check in at any time to see how you’re progressing or if you have any concerns.

At Integrated Health Specialists, we have a range of holistic and solutions-focused programs designed to help you with a number of concerns or goals that you might have to improve the quality of your life. From life coaching programs to improving self-esteem, stress and anxiety management, weight loss, behaviour modification, recovery programs, and much more. Get in touch today and find out just how counselling can change your life.

Michelle van Namen
Author: Michelle van Namen