How To Work Through Disagreements With Your Counsellor
Counselling sessions are designed to help you find ways to improve your mental and emotional health in a safe, judgement-free space. During a counselling session, you’ll talk with your counsellor about your feelings, and they’ll listen and provide support where possible. However, as with any emotional conversation where feelings are running high, you may find yourself feeling angry or disagreeing with your therapist’s comments. When this happens, you may find yourself wondering – is it normal to have these feelings? Should I simply pretend to agree with them?
The key to improving your mental health is to work openly and honestly with your counsellor. This is the best way to find real solutions to your problems. It’s completely normal for disagreements to pop up every now and then, which may lead to situations you may not want to be in or conversations that feel uncomfortable. But, there are ways to work through disagreements with your counsellor and have a stronger professional relationship as a result.
Accept that it’s okay to disagree with your counsellor.
Experienced counsellors are fully trained and able to provide professional support, but they’re also human as well, and occasionally there may be differences in opinion between them and their clients. Disagreements are completely natural and can actually bring about interesting scenarios for you to challenge your thoughts and feelings head-on. Working relationships may even bring about disagreements and situations which can be looked at and worked on between the counsellor and client. Exploring feelings here can be positive.
Acknowledging conflict and disagreement and the responses you have to it can be therapeutic. Exploring every single part of a problem is necessary, and disagreements are one such part. You’ll be able to learn and find solutions that go towards fixing problems, but you’ll also strengthen that relationship with your counsellor and have a better understanding of your own feelings. Overall, disagreements may be necessary for your counselling, so don’t feel afraid to express your opinions.
Tips on handling your feelings.
Take a step back and think it all through properly.
Disagreements can heighten your emotions. Sometimes it can be essential to take a step back and reevaluate the situation before it gets out of hand. Doing so can help you analyse the disagreement and how it made you feel. It also allows you to speak to your counsellor about the situation and get their opinion. It is vital that you do this as it can help you move further forward.
Regulate your emotions more frequently.
Repressing your feelings can work against the progress you make in your counselling sessions. Although you may not be able to turn them off with the flick of a switch, you can regulate them so that you’re better equipped to handle situations such as disagreements with your counsellor. If your feelings are always heightened, it could become detrimental to your health.
Get more sleep, try meditation, exercise frequently, and relax more.
Look towards different methods that can provide you with more control over your body and, therefore, emotions – sleeping, for instance, can help you deal with stress a lot more effectively. Your physical and mental health needs to be in good shape so that you can handle situations where you do not feel completely comfortable. Stress relief mechanisms are important here as they can help ensure you’re better equipped.
Tips on articulating your concerns.
Keep it simple, and try not to over-explain everything.
When articulating your feelings, you may aim to over-explain everything you think so you can present it in a manner that your counsellor can understand. Although this may sound good to you in theory, you’ll probably end up speaking in a jumbling, almost confusing manner instead. So just try to keep it simple and lay out your concerns in a calm, precise way. This ensures everything is communicated effectively.
Listen to yourself when speaking.
Do you take into account what you are saying to your counsellor when articulating your concerns to them? It may sound really good in your head but not so good when said out loud. Listen to what you are saying and aim to improve what you’re trying to get across to them. This will help you explain why your therapist’s comments upset or angered you.
Slow down and think things through before you say anything.
Finally, take a breath and slow everything down. Give yourself time to think and come up with a better way of articulating your concerns. This’ll allow you to get your ideas across better as you’ll have had more time to process ideas, thoughts and feelings ready for the next discussion. It’s best to do this as you can find the sessions more rewarding and worth your time as a result.
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