Student Wellness Services

Queen's University
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Student Wellness Services

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How can I get the most out of counselling?

Counselling offers no magical solutions to the problems you bring with you. Clients may find that as they begin to work on their problem, things get worse before they get better. To a great extent, the progress you make in counselling rests on your genuine, honest and active participation in the process.

There are several things you can do to help make the counselling process work for you:

  • Keep all of your scheduled appointments. If you are unable to attend an appointment, please let your counsellor know ahead of time.
  • Be honest and open about the issues you present in sessions and be willing to explore the role you play in a given problematic situation.
  • Since you are responsible for most of the work, be thoughtful between sessions about issues explored, and try out new ideas and strategies.
  • Follow through on homework.
  • Be willing to consider replacing current, unhelpful ways of doing things with more positive, though new and uncertain ones.

The success of your counselling experience also involves your willingness to give feedback to your counsellor. This includes letting your counsellor know what you think is working and where you have concerns. Rather than drop out of counselling, giving this kind of feedback offers you both the opportunity to revisit the way you had been working up to this point and allows you to determine what might continue to be helpful.

The personal counselling services offered are intended to be change-oriented and relatively brief. You will be encouraged to collaborate actively with your counsellor in a process that emphasizes your competence, strengths, and possibilities, rather than your limitations. Your counsellor will help you to develop clear and specific goals, so that you can measure your progress and know when counselling is complete. The frequency of sessions may range from weekly to monthly (or longer). Rapid progress is often achieved with this approach.