Is counseling right for you? Well, that depends on what exactly "counseling" is right? Although schools of psychology and regulatory agencies try to offer standardized training for counselors, the truth is that there are as many styles of counseling as there are counselors.
The work that happens in a counseling session is completely dependent on the people in the room and the experiences they bring to the table. Endless variation. Which, I think, is actually a good thing insofar as the details of experience can offer a perfect fit for your support. However, it can also mean that there are plenty of matches out there that will not be a good fit at all. As a result, exploring what your prospective counselor brings to the table in terms of experience, philosophy and style, can be the difference between a ho-hum meeting and a life altering exchange.
The people I work with are looking to reconnect with their own, authentic heart. They may have a sense that things are not quite right somewhere in their life, or they might be exhausted from resisting the demands of their heart in the face of practical necessities. Usually, feelings of anxiety or depression and stuckness lead them to seek change. I see some people who are looking to relieve the pressure they are feeling (via anxiety or depression) on a symptomatic level only. But more often than not, my clients are looking to discover what is at the root of their discomfort. We work to unwind and release these binds, all the while following the guidance of their heart's calling.
This process is a practice. It can involve realizations that open and blossom naturally without much effort. But often, it involves patterns that invite revisiting and re-evaluating old stories and habits in order to consciously step into a present way of being that feels authentic and centered.
For some the idea of following their heart may seem foreign and sentimental. For them, perhaps a more logic oriented method of counseling would be appealing, for example Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. For some medication seems like the only accessible approach, which would lead them to psychiatry. Some need to tell their story and just have an open non-judgmental third party listen and listen and listen which is a central theme of person-centered therapy. These are all viable and useful approaches, but what makes the difference is for you to get a sense of what feels the best, maybe even exciting, to you. When you find someone whose ideas really speak to you, chances are you've found your game changer. Best wishes!