People often ask “what can counselling do for me? it’s just a chat, right”? Well, yes we do chat, but I have used the ‘building a toolkit analogy’ which helps explain…
So, consider the scenario. You need a new door knocker. Off to Bunnings we go, get past the Sausage Sizzle, straight to the door knocker aisle. There they are, all 5,000 of them, gleaming with shiny stuff, different fixings, different knocks, different styles. The wonderful expert comes to ask “what are you looking for – functionality or design?” A fair question and one which you had not really thought of. You like the heavy brass one but realise it may need a drill, a bigger screwdriver, some brass bolts and a spirit level to install it.
This is like the first session in counselling. Establishing what you really need and why you want it. What has worked before, what has not worked so well. What would an alternative approach be like? Do you have the skills and mental energy to grow? What gets in the way?
The next stage is to work out what tools you have already. These are your resources, your problem solving skills, your network, your family, your strengths and your barriers. These tools are usually already in the tool box, maybe hidden under the gardening gloves, perhaps needing an oil and a good dusting.
Working with a counsellor can help you realise what you have, and what you can build upon. It is a good way to establish how strong the tools you have in place are and what needs to change to get to where you want. You may want to consider new tools. These could look at further education and research, coping mechanisms, new strategies, asking others for support and guidance. You may wish to set new goals and work out how you are going to stick with them and see them through.
Self-efficacy is about building upon beliefs of capability and in the case of the door knocker exercise, can start at the door and lead to building a new extension (which often happens – expensive door knocker, right?).
Working through issues in counselling is about considering the task and how it evolves. How you put yourself back together again. Something to be proud of.
You’ll have a new tool kit too.
What are you going to build next?