This article is about Counselling and the possible reasons it doesn't work.

When it comes to counselling most people I have spoken to believe one of two things - it is so helpful or it's a waste of time. When you delve further into this viewpoint it becomes apparent as to why they have developed these thoughts around counselling.

Just so you know I am an avid advocate of counselling and believe everyone should aspire to be able to work through their issues - either on their own or with the help of a professional. However people say Counselling just doesn't work.

Now this belief of mine - that therapy isn't successful didn't happen overnight - is based on two reasons.

1) I have had my share of demons to deal with and attended many counselling sessions - they didn't work - then.

2) During my 12 years of employment in the community welfare sector, I have worked with people with issue upon issue upon issue. Many have had several lots of counselling to deal with issues. Yet they still have wheelbarrows of issues.

Many of us have had so much counselling - anger management counselling, bereavement counselling, divorce counselling, addictions counselling, grief counselling, relationship counselling, depression counselling, anxiety counselling, and the list goes on.

So much counselling that we become "immune" to it. Like when you have regular medications and eventually the affect just doesn't even happen. Or when because your have heard a song over and over you just seem to switch off from it

I remember one point when it seemed "trendy" to be seeing a therapist. Anyone who was someone was regularly attending therapy sessions. In today's busy world - in some jobs its even mandatory to have "supervision" - debriefing of your work.


At some point in our lives we have all had to assist someone who was suffering. Everyone has had an experience that has hurt us, left us numb and wondering what next. From our own personal experiences and what we learned, we can then be there for someone else in need. That's not to say that how I handle situations is how someone else addresses them. Yet we can at least know what they are feeling and offer suggestions and at some point possibly relate to what they are thinking or trying to achieve.

Any time you sit with someone and listen to their troubles - you are counselling.


What do you think a "Counsellor" "Therapist" or "Psychologist" does? They say - "How did that make you feel"? "What do you think about that"? Some might say - not much. Actually - all that sitting is doing an immense amount of good.

My assessment is:

o They listen
o They share your pain
o They ask questions
o They get You thinking differently
o They get You to explore meanings

Through my work in community welfare, I have discovered that there are many people out there who just don't have anyone they feel safe confiding in. They fear the repercussions of actually voicing their worries. I was under the impression that all people have someone they trust enough to share their inner most thoughts and concerns with. However, I was mistaken.

The prospect of confiding in a professional can also be daunting. Yet the prospect of telling my best friend can also be daunting? Will they think less of me? What does it say about you if you share your inner most thoughts with a complete stranger? Are the consequences of this going to be detrimental and restricting? What's the point? How will it help?

Have you ever had a problem so overwhelming you just didn't know what to do about it. An issue that was so uncomfortable you just didn't feel you could confide it in anyone. There may have been times when you felt the urge to say something, but for some deep reason you just couldn't bring yourself to. An issue that you know is there, but have buried deep in the back of your mind, covered with plenty of other issues, concerns, frustrations etc in a vain attempt to forget. Or perhaps you may even think - "yep - over that, its no biggie". Then one day - bam - a smell, a word, a gesture and it's right there in your face..


Ok, so Ive pointed out that most of us have had some counselling - even people who may not need it have seen therapists just because it's the "in" thing to do.

Ive pointed out that we have all done some counselling - and Ive listed what Counsellors do. Soagain - Why didn't it work? I still feel the same, I still have the same problem, if anything I'm more confused than ever. It was a waste of time.


First lets start with External reasons - the ones we can all come up with -

o I don't have a problem
o The problem is someone else
o I just didn't connect with the Counsellor
o They didn't seem to get what I was saying
o They didn't solve the problem
o They were talking about something totally irrelevant to my problem.

So as valid as these reasons may be - lets drill into things.

Was it your choice to go -
Where you totally upfront and honest with the counsellor
Was it difficult to cope with the sessions or the memories they brought up
Where the answers not what you wanted

Basically - did you leave out bits of relevant information, did it get a bit awkward, or where you made to go to keep someone happy

How did you deal with this situation? Oh - you stopped going? Right!!

So if you take all the above into consideration the real reason Counselling didn't work for you was YOU - didn't really give it a go!!

You may have felt a little daunted by the conversations, there may have even been nightmares, or it was just confrontational. So you gave it away.

Now your probably thinking that's a bit harsh - but realistically - if a trained professional (or a number of them, as we generally go from one to another) hasn't helped - what is the common denominator - You.

Counselling is a very handy tool to add to your toolbox for dealing with day to day issues. My experiences have taught me how to get the most out of counselling.

I have spent many years assisting people to relink to services that can help them after they have tried and failed. My passion is to work out why things don't work and to help others make better decisions and life life to the fullest. This isn't easy to do when you have "baggage". So unloading that in the right way, helps you to achieve greater things. Each of us has special talents and things to learn from our experiences, sometimes, we just don't realise that the reason for something is to teach us how to handle life

Author's Bio: 

For the past 12 years I have been assisting people work on areas in their lives that need improvement. This process involves creating an awareness of how things currently are and then delving into what may be useful to improve or change the situation. I am a passionate about pushing the boundaries of what is perceived as normal. Normal is as you make it. We are defined by what we give meaning to – so in order to improve your life – you need to improve your own awareness.
My focus is on doing life differently - by working out what works and what isnt working - then setting about creating a way to achieve what I want.
I have been a mentor to people who wish to move forward but who find it difficult to remain focused when the going gets tough. I have been their link to a "different" lifestyle.