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6 Top Questions People Ask About Counselling

Updated: May 17, 2021

Often when considering counselling there can be questions that people have and at the Modern Mind Group we wanted to share some of those questions with you as well as what our take on them is. It is a very personal choice to reach out for counselling so always good to have some knowledge and advice in advance.

So here are our top 6 questions people ask about counselling…..

1. Why do people choose to get a counsellor or coach?

Many people choose to get a counsellor or a coach because the way that they feel is starting to interrupt the routine of their life. Their emotions are affecting their work performance or their relationships with family and friends. You may find yourself crying uncontrollably, having difficulty sleeping or sleeping a lot. You may find that you feel overwhelmed about doing things that you once found fun or enjoyable. This list is not extensive, these are only a few examples. Think of it as getting support, guidance and a sympathetic non-judgemental pair of ears. Mental health challenges can affect anyone, we know there have been many footballers, politicians, world leaders, friends or family that have had mental health challenges themselves so, you are not alone.

2. What will happen in my first counselling session?

In your first counselling session the counsellor will want to ask some questions to understand your current situation. It is a time for you both to start to establish a therapeutic relationship built on trust and respect. You will be nervous, that is normal and totally human. We often worry about what others think of us and hold our emotions back although with the right counsellor you will learn quickly that they really are not there to judge you they are there to support and encourage you back to a healthy state of mind. They may ask questions about what made you decide to approach them for counselling or to tell them some of the symptoms you are experiencing. They will want to know about your work, friends and family to support you holistically. You don’t have to explain everything in the first session though and it’s good to know that it’s normal to feel apprehensive to open up fully until 2 or 3 sessions. The sooner you can feel comfortable to open up the sooner you can start to move forward. This is is what separates great counsellors from the good.

3. How long does counselling take to work?

As just mentioned, it really does depend on how comfortable you are to open up and be transparent. The best solutions and support come from when we can see the whole picture. Think of this question in the same way a person may approach going to the gym to lose weight. It will take time to lose that weight that has been built up over time so results can’t be expected after just one session. Weight in your mind works in the same way, it's taken time to build it up so it will take time to lose. That being said, clients that work with me through the Modern Mind Group have seen results within 4 – 6 sessions, with anxiety levels going from an 8 /10 high on the scale to a low 3/10 in 4 sessions. It is possible. Every case is individual though and this is only a guide.

4. Why does counselling make my cry?

Crying is a response to a strong emotion. When feelings have been suppressed for a long time and you start to talk about your experiences the crying can start. Crying is perfectly natural and many clients will cry. What I didn’t understand when I was younger is what was on the other side of crying. Let the emotions come, only then once they have been expressed can we reflect to find out why the emotions and thoughts are creating that response. I can promise you that the crying will stop, I am living proof. Once you get to the other side, we can then do the work to stop suppressing feelings in the future.

5. When is the right time to stop counselling?

This can be different for everyone. You may think it is a strange question to cover in this article. In fact many may think it is strange that I am encouraging you to have an end in mind especially from a business perspective. I know that it is a great question and one that is worth exploring. The best outcomes will come when you have the end of the process in sight. We care about getting you results. A goal or purpose of getting better. Whilst we can’t say how long exactly that will be, having the belief that it will end, and you will get to a much more mentally healthy state, is a positive outlook on counselling or coaching. The goal of a counsellor or coach should be the empower you to take control of your decisions and help you to be confident with to go back into your life a more mentally health person. If you feel it is the right time, then this should be discussed with your counsellor. If you can honestly say, for example, that your anxiety levels have dropped to a 2/10 on the scale and that you are feeling much happier about the future with a new understanding of yourself then that would be the time to consider ending your sessions.

6. What happens once I stop the counselling process?

Once you stop the counselling process you can always go back to your counsellor for maintenance sessions. A maintenance session is where you may feel things start to build back up and therefore it is great to reach out to get support and ensure your mental health stays more balanced. You may ask why this could happen?! Let me explain it with the analogy of swimming. You leave sessions with the confidence to swim in the pool with your family and friends. If you were then asked to swim in the sea it may be a different feeling because it is a different environment, one that might make you feel less confident because it is out of your comfort zone. This is perfectly normal and life challenges can come up at any time, these maintenance sessions can help you to be reassured in the new circumstances. You can check back in to arrange maintenance counselling sessions, great counsellor will recommend and welcome this.

This article was written by a qualified counsellor.


The Modern Mind Group are emotioneering human performance not engineering it. As a learning and performance consultancy, we work with your business to identify and improve performance gaps so that you can be more profitable and professionally develop your people. Over 10 years of expertise in learning and performance with results to back it all up. Why settle for the average when there is a world of possibility when you know how to achieve it? Untapped potential - Let's go get it!


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