Often, in our lives, we experience some happy moments, confusing moments, nostalgic moments, regret, disappointment, frustration, success etc.
Even though one may have lots or few friends and a loving and supporting family, sometimes some people still feel very uncomfortable in sharing their deep-rooted problems with their loved ones and decide to take help from counselors.
About Personal Counseling
Personal counseling is a one-to-one session between a client and a trained therapist, in a safe, caring, and confidential environment. The client expresses whatever personal problem he or she is facing be it anxiety, lack of self-love, heartbreak, discrimination etc to the therapist.
They help their clients in facing their problems and helps them in dealing with their emotions by suggesting simple things such as diary writing, taking a walk, listening to instrumental music, role -playing etc.
Introduction to Online Counseling
During tough times like pandemic, the mental health of the people is severely affected.
Recently, a new method called online counseling has been introduced to help people address their mental or personal problems just by sitting at home.
Online counseling is an online method wherein, professional counseling services are provided through the use of emails, real-time chat, and video conferencing. This model is becoming popular among young people who are in need of personal help.
Expectations from Online Counseling:
Many people who go for their first online session have certain expectations which are according to me are as follows:
The counsellor should be very good at being patient. Every client as a human being would expect their therapist to patiently listen to them.
Some people are affected so much by their trauma that they tend to say same things repeatedly. They feel insecure about it too and tend to restrict themselves from sharing everything.
So, counsellors need to exhibit a lot of patience while dealing with such situations especially in online counseling.
They should not get irritated if their client is not able to see or follow their perspective. This is because a person who is already stressed or feeling sad may have thousands of negative thoughts going in their mind and any signs of anger and irritation would make them even more insecure, worthless and helpless.
Sometimes, all we want is a crying shoulder and a listening ear rather than a solution!
The therapist, especially when they are providing their counseling services in an online platform, needs to create a comfortable environment for their clients.
The clients too feel very uncomfortable or anxious while sharing their life story to a third person. They might feel that a third person too would laugh at them or be disgusted by them.
So, If I was the client, I would expect my therapist to make me feel comfortable and assure me that he/ she won’t judge me and the information shared would be confidential.
3. Gentle Tone
Clients generally expect their therapist to be gentle towards their pain and problems when they first approach online counseling sessions.
In online sessions, the therapist should also take care that their tone is not misinterpreted by the client. It is just like misinterpreting any message sent on the phone.
If the client misinterprets the tone, he or she might be uncomfortable in sharing things with the therapist. So, if such things happen, the therapist should clear the misunderstanding as soon as possible.
Sometimes people feel uncomfortable in sharing their feelings or pain with their family and close friends because they feel that their friends and family are not on the same page and cannot understand them intellectually and emotionally in certain aspects.
The person feels that he or she doesn’t “belong” anywhere. So, it may feel like the person gets along with everyone but inside no one would have the idea that the person feels suffocated and depressed from inside.
So, the people who opt for online sessions expect that their therapist understand them intellectually and emotionally with an open mind, acknowledging their pains and letting them know that they are not “abnormal” and they do “belong in the world”.
5. Will to live
Often, the people who are suffering from traumas think that they have no reason to exist or their existence doesn’t matter.
While taking online sessions for the first time, the clients expect their therapist to act as their crying shoulder who allow them to let out all their emotions, stay by their side each time in their need and assure them that their existence does matter.
The therapist is too expected to go out of their way and act like their client’s night in the shining armor where they understand and find problem in depth and help the client to build a new and positive perspective where the client feels free and loves themselves even more and finds many reasons to live again.