PROCESS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELING
If we notice physical symptoms on ourselves, such as coughing or a sore throat, usually we can judge when it’s necessary to ask for help. Unfortunately, mental problems do not cause such visible symptoms at first, so the solution is not necessarily evident either. Because of this, making the decision to go to counseling takes more time than it should, and usually only when the problems already started to escalate.
Of course, it’s understandable that we find it hard to commit ourselves to something that is unknown to us. We thought it would be helpful to highlight the most important parts of our work, so in the next article we’ll show you what to expect during the process of counseling.
HOW CAN YOU APPLY FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELING?
The process is quite straightforward, you can apply with a few clicks through our website. In the application interface you have to enter some basic information, which are necessary to prove that you really are a BME student (you can apply to us with both active and passive status). We will then ask you some questions to assess your current state of mind. We use a standard questionnaire, which is commonly used in our field. We put a lot of emphasis on confidentiality, and this is true to the data we are receiving, and also to the counseling itself. Time wise it will take about 15 minutes to answer the questions, after this all you have to do is wait for one of our psychologist colleagues to contact you by email. The first face-to-face meeting will take place after the email consultation.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FIRST MEETING?
During the first psychological consultation the framework of our work is discussed e.g. confidentiality, length and regularity of the counseling process, after this the current situation is assessed. Before the meeting, in order to be effective, it is worth thinking about which topics seem to be the most important in your current situation, what it is what really gives you trouble.
Doing the The Wheel of Life exercise, or answering the following questions could help you in this task:
- What do I have problem with in my life right now?
- What changes do I want to achieve?
- What are my goals for the short, medium, and long term?
- How can I know, that I am approaching these goals?
- Why these goals are important to me?
- What do I expect from these goals?
- What happens if I do not take steps towards change?
- What do I expect from counseling?
- What help can I expect from my psychologist?
For the appointed time you scheduled, it is worth arriving relaxed, and with an open mind. As we mentioned it is helpful to have some kind structure about the problems you are facing, but you do not have to put too much emphasis on this. The psychologist will help you with any obstacle that comes up, and the purpose of the first session is to give you both a better insight into the situation and discuss what's next.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Different kind of psychological problems need different kind of aid. Depending on the depth of the problems, the 2 possible approaches can be counseling or therapy. Deeper problems can require therapy, and usually is a longer process, while counseling is usually shorter.
If the counselor sees on the basis of the discussion that it is not possible to work effectively on your goal within framework of counseling, he/she will suggest visiting specialists and outside healthcare centers. Naturally, we only suggest verified, reliable professionals with expertise in the subject, so you can be sure that you will receive the most effective care / solution to your problem in the long run.
If the nature of the topic allows for counseling (which is the form of approach that is available at the university), the mutual work will begin. The duration of this (usually 6-8 sessions) and the frequency of meetings (usually 1 time per week) are determined by the counselor, taking into account professional considerations.
During the process of counseling, our colleagues are always try to take into account the short and long term effects of the mutual work, as the results of psychological counseling are applied to both. It is important, because the effect can be felt not only during the process, but also afterwards. Our goal is to help you get a wider insight of your problems, be able to find your coping potential, and become able to apply them as efficiently as possible.
No matter how many times you’ve met with your psychologist, at the end of the process a closing session will be held. This opportunity will help you summarize your work and ask any additional questions. You can also give feedback on working together, and on your own experiences.