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Counselling: Overview, Benefits, and Impact


We are all familiar with the words ‘Counselling”. Also known as Talk Therapy, this is a process whereby professional assistance/guidance assists us in resolving personal and psychological problems and enhancing our personal, social, emotional, educational, and vocational growth.


Counseling helps us cope with any problems that life throws our way, any cognitive dissonance (inner turmoil) that we may experience, and teaches us to cope with our losses or self-defeating patterns. In simpler words, we can refer to it as a guiding beacon for us.


We are all so caught up in the world dynamics that we ignore our physical and mental health. We tend to bury our feelings at times and move on, little knowing that these feelings may lead to health-related issues later in life. After a certain point, handling too much pressure becomes difficult, and burnout or other psychological effects may occur.

Origin Of Counselling

In the 1890s, Sigmund Freud, a German neurologist, developed a theory, later known as Psychoanalysis, in which individuals spoke about their problems to a ‘psychoanalyst’ trained to interpret our subconscious. 

It was during World War II, that an American psychologist Carl Rogers coined the term Counselling to describe the therapy being provided by psychologists. He went on to publish his book ‘Counselling and Psychotherapy’ in 1942.

Types Of Counselling

Did you know there are various types of Counselling? Let us see what they are and how they impact us.

  • Marriage Counselling: This is very much in vogue. With the incessant pressures of life, marital relationships suffer. Therefore, the role of a marriage counsellor is to help the married couple review their relationship and work mutually towards addressing it. This is very important in preventing divorce, as and where possible.
  • Relationship Counselling: This helps to solve personal or intimate issues between a couple. It helps to understand your partner better and strengthen your relationship as well as understand yourself from a different perspective.
  • Individual Counselling: This is also known as Psychotherapy or talk therapy, where you have a personal session with your therapist. This aims to sort out your specific issues and find solutions for the same.
  • Group Counselling: This is a group of individuals who meet regularly with a therapist and discuss their problems. These sessions help in guiding and supporting each other as well as providing feedback.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
  • Career Counselling: This is an evaluation of yourself, your interests, your academic inclinations, and your career choices, by your counselor, showing you where you stand in terms of selecting the appropriate career for you.
  • Online Counselling: This is the same counseling only the medium is online. Phone calls, video conferencing, email, text messages are used to counsel you to improve your emotional/psychological quotient as well as evolve as a better human.
  • Substance Abuse Counselling: This type of counseling helps to overcome substance abuse be it alcohol, drugs, illicit psychoactive substances, or smoking.
  • Family Counselling: This type of counseling is directed towards specific requirements of a family in the face of a major life event like bereavement, relocation, or relationship-related issues.
  • Workplace Counselling: This helps to maintain interpersonal relationships at the workplace.

We can also classify, to some extent, the scope that counseling has on various aspects that can affect individuals.


1)  Anger management

2) Anxiety

3) Depression

4) Stress

5) Trauma

6) Substance abuse

7) Children: relationships with the parents/ siblings/ family/ peers, school pressure 

8) Adolescence: identity, concerns, relationship of teens and their parents, peer pressure and relationships

9) Family relationships

10) Marital relationships

11) Gender identity/sexuality

12) Grief/bereavement

13) Recovery from sexual abuse

14) Interpersonal relationships

15) Challenges faced by seniors

16) Challenges faced by singles / widowed/divorced persons

17) Workplace-related stress and relationships

18) Marriage/ Divorce / Separation

19) Parenting / Co-parenting /Single parenting

20) Remarriage

21) Adoption

22) Transitions      

Benefits Of Counselling

At some point, we have all felt anxious, depressed, inadequate, vulnerable, confused, aimless, or hurt. Negative thoughts flood us and we feel unable to cope with all that we are feeling. We may not be able to discuss our emotions or thoughts with our family or friends. This does not imply that we are crazy, it is just that we need some assistance to move ahead and this is where Counselling helps. Counseling means freely speaking our mind to our therapist/counselor knowing that they will not judge us, rather they will help us to face our issues head-on and find solutions to sort them out.

“Success as a therapist is not found in doing something for the client, but rather in being someone for the client”

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Let us see how Counselling benefits us.


  1. Increasing self-confidence: Counselling helps us learn more about ourselves, our thoughts, our feelings, and our emotions, that would be otherwise locked up in some distant part of our psyche. It heightens our awareness of our problems and moves us in the correct direction which enables us to grow.
  2. Support and safety: Our counselor patiently hears us out without judging us irrespective of what we share with them. The confidentiality, support, understanding, and empathy provided by our counselor make us feel protected and safe and enable us to pour our hearts out.
  3. Habits: Counselling increases our awareness of certain habits/thoughts/feelings/emotions that may be causing us stress. Once we are aware, we can take the necessary steps towards positivity thereby eliminating the stress.
  4. Increasing self-worth: Any insecurities that we may possess regarding our behavior, our demeanor, and our appearance, can easily be overcome by counseling.  We learn to accept our shortcomings and work towards eliminating them. We become stronger and our self – worth, self-esteem reach a high.
  5. Purpose: Given some tragic incident, maybe we are feeling gloomy and out of sorts. We are unable to focus on our daily activities and feel that there is nothing worth living for. Counseling, in such circumstances, enables us to rediscover the purpose and true meaning of our lives and how to regain control of our lives.
  6. Managing emotions: Counselling helps us manage the flurry of emotions that we may be experiencing due to stress, anxiety, depression, and anger. These negative emotions can easily be dealt with and our outlook can move towards positivity.
  7. Release feelings: Counselling permits us to release all our pent-up emotions, feelings, and thoughts that may be bottled up inside us. Counseling sessions are confidential, so we can freely express ourselves without worrying about opinions or feedback from others. We can let the steam out effortlessly.
  8. Motivation: There may be times when we feel useless and say to ourselves “What is the point? Nothing is working out”. Counseling shows us the flip side i.e. the positive side and eggs us on to hope and believe in ourselves.
  9. Learning: Counselling teaches us to be better problem solvers and how to successfully resolve conflicts. It hones our interpersonal relationships and enhances our communicative abilities. We can effectively learn and practice these skills during Counselling sessions. This makes us capable of facing life.
  10. Empathy: Counselling also makes us empathetic towards others. We can identify with others who may be facing some life-related issues and by sharing our experiences with them, we may succeed in providing them with some solace/motivation/ hope.

Embracing Counseling for a Healthier, Happier Life

For a better understanding of ourselves, to face life’s challenges, to improve our interpersonal relationships, and to embrace our shortcomings, we need to take this step towards counseling. Negative feelings will only lead to illnesses which is detrimental to our well-being.


The need of the hour is being healthy and prioritizing our wellness. We need not think about the world and compare ourselves with others. No two people are the same in temperament. What’s good for you is best for you. Do all that it takes to make your life simple and fruitful.       

“ As therapists, we are in the business of freedom- we help people relinquish stories of self that are painful, stories of this moment that are alienating, stories of the future that are limiting”

Counseling relieves us of our emotional baggage, making us forget our past painful incidents, and teaching us to cope with the present so that we have a good future. After all, it is one life, so let us make something good of it.

the aartery chronicles

Ms Rupal Sonpal

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