Saturday, May 28, 2011

Counselling and Who Provides Them?

Counsellor is a broad term to describe professionals whose main job is to provide "talking therapy" to people with life difficulties or mental illness like depression and anxiety.

So who provides counselling?

Counselling are done by Doctors with a special interest in mental health (which Iam one),  Psychologists, Occupational therapist, Youth health workers,  Mental health nurses, Social Workers or Psychiatrist (usually less so than psychologist).

The main evidence based counselling is CBT but various versions of it can be helpful too eg ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)

Most people think counselling is just about talking therapy but it is probably much more than that.  The essence of it is to help you to understand yourself better and in turn, be able to regulate and "reprogram" your mind better rather than let it control you so to speak.  Usually, it is done through 12 sessions but some will need more.

Remember that like acquiring any new skills, knowing is certainly not enough.  You have to apply that knowledge and then repetition, repetition and more repetition.....just like learning how to play the guitar/piano/typing or learning the timestable. For example, you might have learnt all the theory about on how to drive a car but this does not mean that you CAN drive a car.  If you have a therapist/counsellor/or Doctor with special interest in counselling, then they will act as your "personal trainer". Remember, that you will still have to do the main work though....just like in a exercise program to lose weight.  The personal trainer can only guide, support and encourage you.  You will still have to do most of the work.

Dr Vin
Family Doctor Australia

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