How can counselling help you?
Advice from experts Teresa Brasier and Maureen Schiller
Teresa Brasier says: ‘Individuals seek counselling for many reasons, all to do with change; bereavement, illness, hoping to change the way they feel about past experiences (abuse, relationships, family), frustration with where their life is going (or not going).
But sometimes people with hearing loss (whether mild, moderate, severe or profound) struggle with other things as well. People are generally sympathetic if you suffer other types of loss. For example, if you are bereaved or lose you mobility through an accident.
But often loss of hearing is not given the same consideration: it is the butt of jokes and a hidden loss.
When you lose your hearing you may find that most people don’t understand what you are going through.’
Maureen Schiller says: ‘It can be difficult to ask for help and talk about things which are confusing, painful or uncomfortable. Counselling offers you a safe, confidential place where you can explore difficult feelings with someone who will really listen.
Talking to a counsellor, who accepts you and respects your feelings, can help you process difficult issues in your life. However, counselling is not always about problems.
The honest feedback from a counsellor can enable you to understand more about yourself and discover changes that you might want to make to improve your quality of life and relationships.’
How do I choose the right counsellor?
There are a number of different methods and approaches to therapy, but research has shown that the quality of the relationship between you and the therapist is more important than the method they use. You will probably need to see a counsellor privately if you wish to choose who you see. It is useful to shop around and maybe meet a few counsellors before you decide who you want to contract to work with.
The first session with a counsellor is an assessment, to enable both of you to decide if it feels right to work together. Some counsellors charge for this and others do not. It provides an opportunity for you to assess how comfortable you feel with the counsellor and to ask questions such as confidentiality, cost, theoretical orientation, their experience qualifications and whether they have membership of a professional body with a Code of Ethics.