Getting counselling help is an idea if you want to manage your stress. However you need to be careful when selecting your counsellor. Different counsellors may subscribe to different ways of therapy which may not fully reflect your values.
Stressed? Have You Considered Stress Counseling?
If you are stressed, it might be time to consider going to a stress counsellor. If you want to manage your stress, going to a counsellor may be a good option. My understanding is that a psychotherapist will help you investigate your early life and experiences to identify and hopefully resolve early childhood potential issues. These may not be real issues in your eyes because as far as you are concerned, they were not issues until the psychotherapist brings them up. As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on this one. But they do seem to help some people and that is what is important.
My understanding is that a counsellor will help you sort out certain problems because a lot of human behaviour falls into patterns. So the counsellor sees the pattern that the patient is in, and provides the patient with alternative behaviour on how to deal with this problem. The reason is that the counsellor based on their training and their experience will have seen the pattern that the patient is in, and is aware of more healthy alternative behaviours than the ‘default’ behaviour that the patient is in. This is in my opinion more hands on and more practical than the approach used by psychotherapists.
If you are considering stress counselling, knowing about a few different type of counselling may help you to decide on which one is better for you. Please know that counsellors sometimes specialise in different areas and the area that you need help with might not be something that the counsellor specialises in and therefore you may not be getting the “best bang for your money”.
One type is the psychotherapist type. This type of counsellor will help you investigate your early life and experiences to identify and hopefully resolve early childhood potential issues. Their take is that a major cause of your stress is related to unresolved issues.
Another type is the cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) type. This type of counsellor will try to work with you in order to reframe mental activities (thinking) in a more reasonable and positive manner. In my opinion, this one hits the nail on the head. If a person can change their thinking processes to be more positive, that may help their stress levels, especially if the thinking changes almost at once when you ask yourself a question. For instance, if something is stressing you out right now, asking yourself silently the “will this be important in 5 years time” question and discovering that the answer is usually no, helps to reduce stress. What has really changed? Nothing, just how you are processing it. Call it a mind trick, however it is one that works more often than not, and is one well worth using if you are stressed.
There may be more types of counsellor types that I am not aware off.
In my opinion, I think that a Counsellor who specialises in CBT is the one to see if you are suffering from stress, especially one that understands you and is able to help you overcome your stress.
My personal experience with a Counsellor and Psychotherapist
My local doctor recommended that I see a counsellor and recommended a local one to me. I phoned the recommended counsellor, and arranged to see her. I asked her if it was covered under my private health insurance and she said that it was. She said that I pay as I go, she issue receipts, and I claim from my private health insurance afterwards. Over a period of about 8 weeks, I visited the counsellor 5 times. The first 3 visits were in my opinion well structured and I took something away with each of those visits. Visits 4 and 5 ended up being in my opinion not well structured and ended up being informal chats. After visit 5, I decided not to proceed any further.
My personal experience with my private health insurer to pay up
It was then time to claim those visits against my private health insurance policy. In the end, they did not pay.
Basically in order to benefit from their counselling benefit you access that by phoning a special phone number which you obtain my contacting the private health insurer and asking how to get benefit under such a such section. You phone this special phone number and have a phone conversation, and if they think you need counselling, they give you a list over the phone of local counsellors who get paid directly by the private health insurer. You select one and this local counsellor then contacts you and you take it from there.
Basically I went the wrong way to get my private health insurer to fund my counselling sessions. My counsellor had given me incorrect information. This is the most neutral way I have of putting it. And she has over 20 years experience of providing counselling.
My private health insurer explained that some policies do allow cover for visits to a clinical psychologist which they define as a full member of such a such organisation. The policy I have does not have this cover. And the person I saw is not registered nor a full member of such a such organisation.
Basically the most important takeaway, is that if I need to make an appointment for treatment of any kind, to contact the private health insurer in advance so that they can advise me on how to get the best benefit from my policy. And of course, this takeaway applies to other areas of life as well. 🙂
I have had health insurance with this private health insurer for in excess of 35 years, starting when I was a child. Based on this experience when it comes up next for renewal, I will be thinking a lot more do I need the cover, instead of automatically thinking, oh yea, health insurance, a non brainer, I need this cover and just renewing almost automatically.
Luckily enough, by the time that I was in discussions with my private health insurer, I was doing an online stress management course and had just reviewed a “in a few years time, will this be important in the overall scheme of things, and if not, just to let it drop” as it is not worth stressing out about. However I am still rightly annoyed that my counsellor gave me incorrect information.
Doing an online course about different ways to manage stress deliberately so that you reduce your stress levels deliberately makes a lot of sense. This is a course I did and I can recommend it from personal experience. Click here to read my review of this course.