Change is unavoidable in our lives; it is a part of the natural cycle of learning and growth. Unfortunately, change can also be overwhelming, and without the right guidance, can lead to negative patterns that repeat cycle. Counselling is a vital tool for setting lasting change in motion.
Counselling is the aim to help an individual modify behavior, feelings, attitudes, or thoughts. Through counselling a therapist or counsellor works to help identify the sources, triggers, and feelings leading to negative behaviors and assists in recognizing more functional and healthier alternatives. An important aspect of goal setting in successful counselling is the use of environmental manipulations, emotion management strategies, and behavior modification techniques to make desired change last.
Counselling for lasting change works to create a greater understanding of environmental and internal obstacles within the individual, as well as those involved in a particular relationship. The goal of lasting change is to develop self-awareness, identify and remove negative patterns, and redirect behavior in a more constructive manner.
The process for creating lasting change stands on three basic foundations – emotion regulation, cognitive restructuring, and problem-solving. Counselling that uses emotion regulation techniques looks to increase one’s ability to meaningfully control the emotional responses to life experiences. Cognitive restructuring works to reframe thoughts in a manner that helps lessen the impacts of emotionally charged or negative thoughts. Problem-solving uses a holistic approach to identify obstacles, brainstorm more active solutions, and explore particular circumstances to create a plan that works for the individual’s unique needs.
Counselling for lasting change also requires application of the intentions and plans fostered in sessions. Through repeated reinforcement and small successes, counselling can bring about desired change. Making positive changes through counselling can be supported by tapping into resources such as therapy, support groups, self-help books, online forums, and additional support from family and friends.
Making meaningful changes is a process unique to each individual. Counselling for lasting change is about actively recognizing obstacles and making positive changes to support the making of lasting change. The journey starts with taking the first step – seeking support and committing oneself to the process. A qualified and caring counsellor can provide guidance and create the space for understanding, reflective thought, and lasting change.