What are the benefits and possible risks to counselling?

Counselling is helpful for a variety of difficulties. When counselling is effective, clients report a variety of positive changes including increased self-confidence, better mood, more energy, increased clarity about decisions, better problem-solving, higher self-esteem, great self-understanding, relief from previously troubling symptoms and patterns, and better relationships with other people. Counselling is not effective for everyone, and does involve some risks.

During counselling, clients may experience uncomfortable feelings or recall or talk about troubling incidents and memories. Sometimes, a desired change is accompanied by challenging consequences (for example, gaining greater self-confidence may lead to difficulties in some relationships with others).

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