Making Good Use of Counseling

“How does one become a butterfly? They have to want to learn to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” - Trina Paulus

Counseling is an opportunity for growth, to learn and unlearn, to forgive others and forgive ourselves, and to find ways to be more peaceful throughout our lives.  It is about developing a strong sense of who we are and building loving relationships.  Our growth involves change, taking movements from where we are to where we want to go.  Sometimes we don’t know where we are, what our destination is and how to travel along the way.  Counseling can help gain clarity on our life path and how to walk it.

To make the most of our counseling experience and bring forth change, we have to be willing to take risks and expel energy – both emotional and physical.  Because of this on one hand there is a tendency for us is to resist change.  On the other hand, we may recognize that where we are at is not optimum for us so we have an inherent desire to grow.  The hope is that counseling provides you with the right nurturing and encouraging environment so you can overcome the resistance and go for your optimum.

The strongest resistance I see with individuals is their resistance to learn to meditate.  All evolved spiritual teachers will have meditation at the core of their practice.  Why?  Meditation is the tool we can use to quiet our own minds.  This brings us higher awareness.  From here, we can develop our minds from a higher plane of existence.  Take this step to learn to meditate and you will make progress more rapidly.  Do this under the care of your counselor or meditation teacher, because meditation can unleash pain and difficult memories.

Another strong resistance is our own ego.  To make course corrections, it is helpful to confess our mistakes and then celebrate our awareness of them.  As we go deeper into a counseling experience, it is normal to uncover that we have been deceitful to ourselves and others.  This is okay and just part of the normal process of awakening to a higher consciousness.  This is unlearning and relearning, and these confessions are at the heart of growth.

In a nutshell, counseling is about quieting the mind and developing it.   It is about learning to sit with our feelings, confessing our truths and finding new beliefs to live by.

When you come to your counseling sessions then, come prepared to share your life, your problems, your feelings.  Journaling is probably the most helpful, because journaling captures the stories of our lives, as we currently see them.  But there are other outlets of expression such as poetry and art and music.  Whatever mode of expression works for you to tell your story is what you should stick with, but consider new ways of exploring.

In addition to writing, reading it our next best tool for self-development.  My life has been greatly enhanced through the teachings of others, and what lessons they have learned.  We cannot stand on the shoulders of giants if we don’t read their books and articles.

And finally, ask your counselor for homework.  Instead of waiting to be told what to do, be proactive in what step to take next.  More than likely though, the answer is inside you!