Although counselling is to create positive change, it has risks as well as benefits. Since it often involves talking about difficult life circumstances, uncomfortable feelings – like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness – may be felt. Many find that they feel worse before they feel better. On the other hand, counselling provides an opportunity to better and more deeply understand yourself as well as any problems or difficulties you may be experiencing. It often leads to solutions to specific problems and reductions in feelings of distress. Such benefits may require substantial effort on your part, including (1) active participation in the therapeutic process, (2) honesty, and (3) a willingness to change feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. There is no guarantee that counselling will yield any or all of these benefits.
The degree to which you feel better may vary depending upon the particular circumstances. In the beginning, your counsellor will discuss your concerns and goals for therapy and give you an approximate time for length of therapy. Therapy is short term, usually four to eight sessions. While therapy should end through mutual agreement once your goals have been reached, you have the right to end therapy at any time. Likewise, your counsellor may determine that your needs require a different standard of care. Upon you or your counsellor's decision to bring therapy to a close, it is generally recommended that you participate in a closure session to facilitate closing on a positive note. Also, please remember that you always have the right to ask questions of your counsellor. Therapy only works if you have trust and confidence in your counsellor and feel her respect and concern for you.