How will your counselling progress?

How will your counselling progress? How does anybody know it is progressing rather than just happening? Nobody wants to throw their time and money at something that doesn’t deliver, after all. I think it mostly depends on what’s happening in the room between counsellor and client – at any one time – rather than there being any generalised formula to rely on, a one-size-fits-all checklist you can consult after each session. I know, I know, that sounds like a cop out but it’s true – it all boils down to what happens between two people – or more if it’s couples therapy we’re talking about – in a room, alone together, for an hour. Bit vague?

Despite there being no clear-cut list of points to tick off there are a few areas to look at. To begin with ask yourself if there’s been any sense of a connection made, an idea that this person might be able to be trusted to hold on to some of your thoughts and feelings. Did you feel able to speak openly, at least to some degree? Did you feel listened to? Was there scope for being understood? I say scope because if understanding appeared lacking in some way it’s worth exploring stuff around the idea such as whether your therapist seemed to be trying to get on your wavelength. Failing, perhaps, but were they working at it?

That’s the thing because this, in time, might move towards something deeper, such as real understanding…which, in part, is the unanswerable bit as to how things can progress. It’s a gamble. It’s about relationship, you and them, and a willingness to work. You and them rather than just them (ok you’re the one paying the bill but you have to work too). And can you imagine yourself working some more with this therapist? Could trust grow here? We all take time to trust, it can’t be rushed, but it can be worked towards. I’ve just mentioned work several times…

How will your counselling progress? In as many ways as there’s individuals – there’s no straight answer to that one.