Barbara Sarmias Counselling

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Why counselling instead of chatting to a friend?

Posted on March 9, 2014 at 6:22 PM
When something is deeply troubling you, do you run through a mental checklist of your friends or family members you feel you can talk to and decide which one will listen to you properly, really hear what you have to say?  Which one will respond in the way you want them to?  Will they offer advice and solutions to your problem when all you really want to do is be heard and find your own way through it?

The difference really is that a person-centred counsellor will offer you time and space to explore your troubling thoughts and feelings.  There might be something you want to talk about that you feel might shock a family member or a friend.  Also, you might want to explore what it might feel like to act a certain way to resolve your problem without actually going through with it in reality.

The whole process can be quite cathartic and the time and space offered is yours, to have time to reflect on what is really going on for you without the pressure of considering someone else's feelings.

All this takes place in a confidential environment.  No-one needs to know you are seeking counselling unless you want to tell them. A counsellor will try to see things from your perspective and be there to support you when the journey through any crisis that life has thrown at you just gets too much and help you reach the other side, in your own time and speed. 

This could be trying to make sense of a painful relationship breakdown, or rebuilding one that you want to save; the death of a loved one and sorting through difficult feelings and finding ways to cope and move on.  Or just support in coping with any stressful situation you find yourself in.

Often we take care of the people around us first or even spend a lot of time and energy keeping the things we value up and running.  For instance, you might spend a lot of time and money keeping your car on the road!  Do you ever feel that there is not enough time to spend caring for yourself?  This is what can be achieved in counselling - your time, your space to take care of you.

Categories: Why Counselling

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14 Comments

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1:18 PM on April 14, 2014 
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1:09 PM on September 23, 2014 
Thank you Melbourn Counselling Service for your kind and constructive comment. It was good to receive some feedback on my musings!
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I am a good counselor with my friends that on the every critical situation they contact with to tackle the problem their life. That make me respect more and to some time complicated issue I faced for the friends to make them easy relief.
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I'm thankful for finding your blog post like Why counselling instead of chatting to a friend. I've bookmarked this site and will return again soon.keep it up

So am I. I was struggling before, and I talked it over with a friend; however, I felt like she cannot just connect to me. I do not blame her at all, because maybe she does not really know how it is like to be in my shoes as she has never experienced what I was experiencing at that time. It is just important to remember that there are people who know better to guide us, especially the counselors. They are professional and can help greatly. Anyway, thanks for your blog. It is really helpful for others as well.
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12:12 PM on May 1, 2019 
Counselling our friends instead of chatting with a not so useful topic is not advisable. This is very helpful not only for them, but also for us. Because we could open some topics about their life that may be their biggest fear to open up to someone. So instead of chatting with them, why don’t we do a counselling regarding a very informative topic that might help them as a growing individual. And we can build trust too, because of counselling.
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2:10 PM on November 6, 2019 
I do believe that as compared to an ordinary friend, a professional counselor has more expertise and greater in-depth knowledge in comforting and giving advice to a person in trouble or grieving. I, for one, turned to a professional counselor when I sought advice and comfort after I broke up with my boyfriend. I know that I would not have gotten the best advice and comfort which my counselor provided me, if I sought the advice and comfort of a friend, instead. I do not regret spending money in availing of professional counseling services. The solace and betterment that professional counseling brought to my life made the cost of funds I shelled out all worth it.
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