Why do counsellors seek counselling themselves?
Since counselling is not advice giving or problem solving but a confidential space for a person to grow in every area of their lives, it is often an ethical requirement that counsellors also seek counselling themselves.
You may wonder why counsellors would seek counselling when they can help themselves, as they possess the knowledge and skills in counselling and can apply it on themselves. This thought is valid only when counselling is seen as a set of techniques and theories that one can apply to others or themselves. However, this is an inaccurate understanding of what professional counselling truly is. Because if it involved only the application of techniques and theories, counsellors can put them all in a book – and everyone can read these books and apply it on themselves. So nobody would need a counsellor then!
Therefore counselling is beyond theory and technique – it is about a relationship: that is warm, non-judgemental and accepting. In this relationship, a person can feel safe and explore various aspects to their lives, where the counsellor serves as a mirror helping people see themselves more clearly. The counsellor plays a neutral, objective and unbiased role in this relationship.
Here are some reasons why counsellors seek counselling themselves:
- Most humans are biased when it comes to dealing with their own selves. It is often very difficult to remain objective and neutral with ourselves. Even counsellors, no matter how neutral and unbiased they may be with their clients, often need the support of counselling to see their own lives through an objective perspective
- Counsellors often face burn out or a feeling of being emotionally drained, as they help the world cope with their issues. Therefore counselling provides them a safe place to cope with the stress and emotional load
- It is an ethical responsibility for counsellors to seek counselling on a regular basis to ensure they are continuous growing and working on their own issues, so that they do not bring their biases, struggles, opinions or problems when counselling their own clients.
- Counselling is a basic right to be enjoyed by every human being – including counsellors! Counsellors also need the same platform for their own wellbeing and growth.
Research shows that the most effective counsellors are those who are in regular counselling themselves. It is easy to imagine why this may be true considering the above points.
Therefore, it is a misperception and myth that counselling is only for a certain section of society. In reality, counselling is a service where every person can benefit from, even counsellors!
What differentiates TalkItOver is that our counsellors are in ongoing counselling themselves, ensuring their own growth and the growth of their clients.