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In today's world when there is so much stress and tension in our lives due to the fast changing lifestyle, experiencing distress has become very common. When significant changes arise in our usual daily life like being unable to sleep and eat and engage in social interaction, we can infer that it's time to control the distress. This distress if not controlled or regulated properly can lead to mood swings and major emotional imbalance. Also in India, where in majority places, collectivistic culture is followed, people are not brought up with the learning of sharing and expressing one's emotions with others and practice emotional freedom. In such cultures, people just restrict their emotions to themselves only and bottle up them inside which can further lead to many mental health issues.

And in some cases, people think sharing emotions will make them weak, uncomfortable and vulnerable because accepting emotions can be difficult and challenging. It can happen when people even fail to notice their emotions as valid and normal. People just ignore their feelings and avoid confrontation which is obviously an easy thing to do. There are different kinds of emotions and painful feelings. These range from feeling unworthy, unloved, rejected, embarrassed, helpless and a failure. Some people think it's safe to express positive feelings but feel bad when they have to admit what they feel. In fact, withdrawing, hiding, denial and isolation, are reactions to emotional pain.

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Traditionally, men avoid revealing negative feelings because they may feel less masculine or less capable. Women, on the other side are perceived as over sensitive and who cries easily. So, sometimes, these stereotypes can act as a barrier for a person who really wants to share their feelings and emotions.

People go for counselling for various issues and problems that they face but the counselling that is done for distress and the associated emotional imbalance is what we call Emotional Counselling.

In this Counselling, emotions are the main focus point for discussion and exploration. It assumes that lacking emotional awareness or avoiding uncomfortable emotions can cause harm. It may restrict us to use the important information emotions inhibits. It makes people able to become better at using information provided by their emotions whether they are positive or negative.

People become able to cope with negative emotions better and reduce harmful effects of maladaptive emotions. Clients are allowed to speak freely and express themselves in a comfortable, non-judgemental and trustful environment created by the Counsellor. Emotions are very important to lead a good quality and meaningful life so it becomes necessary to acknowledge and manage all the emotions which are easy to learn in Emotional Counselling. It attempts to help people look inside and understand their emotions better.

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It deals with the below mentioned emotions:

  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Resentment
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Loss
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Aggression

These emotions can arise due to any reason be it trauma, death, family issues, work related stress or relationship issues.

Signs that you are in need of Emotional Counselling

Overwhelming and Negative Emotions can be tough to express and manage. But avoiding and pushing away negative feelings can cause more negativity in life. Suppressed emotions can come back again in some other more dangerous form so it's good to deal with them in the first place. But still people practice Emotional Suppression which they learn as they grow up and socialize. There are some signs that show the need for Emotional Counselling:

  • Avoiding/Ignoring the places or people that were the source of your negative emotions because you don't want to feel the pain again
  • Avoid talking about triggered situations and negative emotions
  • Distracting yourself as a way to keep yourself away from reacting
  • Changes in eating patterns or eating behaviour (over eating, or not eating at all)
  • Reduced Social Interaction with Significant Others
  • Physical symptoms like pain in the head, hands, stomach or legs
  • Using substances (such as alcohol or other drugs) to lower down the pain or the emotion

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What exactly happens in Emotional Counselling?

In this, the majority of the time, only the client talks and the counsellor just listen. This also includes the aspect of person-centred therapy in which the client talks more than the counsellor.

1. Increase Awareness

Firstly, the client is made aware of the emotions. To facilitate this, the client is asked to speak freely and say whatever comes to mind without any filter and fear of judgement. Then, the counsellor understands the complexity of emotions expressed by the client who makes the client feel miserable and confused. Then, the counsellor creates a simpler and easy version of the client's emotions and also makes them understand it.

For example, if a person loses a closed person due to accidental death, the first step to recovery is to acknowledge the death and all the emotions of sadness, anger, despair and loneliness.

Also, people sometimes avoid the emotion to restrict themselves from pain but the emotion will surely come back. So, the counsellor helps in acknowledging all the emotions. Counsellor asks the client to give every physical sensation or reaction a name of an emotion and then write it on a paper.

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"I feel angry when I get bullied."

2. Allowing oneself to accept all the emotions

Emotional Acceptance facilitated by Counsellor can help to develop mindfulness which is a habit that will help later in life also. Accepting painful emotions comes from practicing mindfulness, emotional curiosity, self-compassion and exploration. This skill allows us to experience our feelings in a more healthy and confident way.

During the process of accepting emotions, one can experience tension and anxiety, so the counsellor makes the client think of ways like meditation to reduce the emotional tension and stress that they are experiencing. The client also expresses the emotions in front of the counsellor which lowers the burden and overwhelming feeling caused due to not explored emotions.

Thus, getting a desired response filled with positivity, support and sympathy can help the client to feel that the emotions were valid, normal and nothing to be ashamed of. This makes the client more able to accept emotions adequately. Journaling is also a good way to accept your emotions by writing about them on a piece of paper.

Emotional Acceptance help

3. Deep rooted exploration into emotions

After accepting the emotions, the counsellor makes the client engage in learning the source, process, "why" factor and the effects of the emotions. Figuring out why and how things happened that made you feel what you are feeling currently can help to deal with the emotions efficiently. In this, Counsellor makes the client go into the past and explore how the situations actually happened so that now the client can understand what actually was done and could have been done along with its impact.

In this, inner child theory comes which says our adulthood personality is the result of childhood experiences. So, if an adult faced trauma as a child and never expressed the particular situation and associated emotions, then, while growing up, he will learn that it's okay to not express one's feelings and bottle up everything inside.

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So, as an adult, that person will develop a personality which includes that they are shy, restrictive and likes being alone. Counsellor teaches the client to not play the self-blame game and understand the actual reason of your emotions. And if the blame is put on someone else, then the client learns forgiveness.

4. Emotional Regulation

And lastly, they learn how to regulate the emotions. Counsellor helps the client to develop the ability to respond well to the range of emotions being experienced in the daily life that is good at both personal and social level. Some of the skills which are taught by counsellors in the session to make the client develop emotional regulation are:

When the Emotional Counselling is about to end and the client has to transfer all the learning from the closed environment of the counselling session to an open public environment, the counsellor has to set goals for the client which are mentioned below:

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  • Identify the deep rooted source of negative emotions
  • Decide whether emotions are helpful or unhelpful
  • Learn to utilize positive and helpful emotions
  • Learn to modify negative and difficult motions
  • Keep track of all the emotions being experienced
  • Develop healthy and creative ways to deal with negative and unhelpful emotions
  • Create an Internal Self-talk that helps to overcome unhelpful emotions

Emotional Counselling is proven to be very beneficial to increase people's awareness of their emotional experience. Through this, they develop an ability to regulate unhelpful emotions effectively to lead a life supported by a positive outlook.

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Need for Emotional Counselling

Sharing your problems and the associated emotions with friends and family can cause bias and no fruitful conclusion can be made from that conversation. But talking to a Counsellor who knows about different emotions and how to manage them can be helpful. They can help to explore the deep rooted reason for the problem, manage emotional needs and improve the quality of life by developing a positive outlook. According to research, nearly 300 million people are facing problems of stress or depression, so, it's not wrong to talk to a counsellor about one's emotions and manage them effectively. Life throws many varieties of emotions at you on a daily basis and it becomes overwhelming to deal with them.

Sometimes, we fail to find people with whom we can share our emotions, who can understand our emotions and provide sympathy and empathy which is required in a tough phase of life, and through emotional counselling, it becomes easy to express those emotions, counsellor is an expert so we know that our emotions are being understood and we also get desired sympathy, empathy and unconditional positive regard. All of our emotional needs are taken care of by the counsellor.

In Emotional Counselling, negative and uncomfortable feelings can arise which is a part of the process and if managed well can lead to long lasting benefits. Counsellor is an outsider and doesn't know about your personal life so in the first session, you start from a fresh and new perspective thus they don't create any opinions. They are skilled and expert in their field so they listen with sympathy and acceptance without any judgment. They keep every shared detail in confidentiality so that it's easy for the clients to share their secrets, uncomfortable feelings and difficult circumstances of life. And this becomes the first step towards recovery. It is proven that expressing and sharing difficult emotions in the first few sessions of emotional counselling can lead to calmness, relaxation and a positive mood.

Counsellor recognizes what is required and desired by a client and provides the same to the client. Also, if a person is thinking that his mental health is deteriorating, counselling can be a good option to go for. Whether just talking about problems happen or counsellor gives time to clients to become comfortable enough and then go onto the expressing stage, emotional counselling can be really helpful. It's also not necessary that you must face some problem in your life and then seek emotional counselling even if you want to share about your life and bring down the burden; you can go for emotional counselling.

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Relationship between Emotional Counselling and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand and manage one's emotions and of others as well. And Emotional Counselling is the way to develop or enhance emotional intelligence. In today's world, Emotional Intelligence is far more important than anything else. It has several aspects like:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Empathy
  • Motivation
  • Relationship Management

It includes self-awareness so that one is aware of emotional triggers, strengths, weaknesses, motivations, values and understanding how these affect thoughts and behaviour. It also makes people able to manage their emotions well which is-EQ (Emotional Quotient). This is the ability to have control on your emotions rather than your emotions having control on you.

As in Initial Emotional Counselling Sessions, the lack of sympathy, empathy and motivation was present but then counsellors fulfil the need. So, through Emotional Counselling, clients learn and develop empathy and motivation to always try their best to learn from difficult situations and overcome negative emotions and also help others in doing the same.

In Emotional Counselling, counsellor creates a good and trustful professional relationship with the client which is a relationship management skill which the client also learns in the sessions and transfers that skill in the personal life when dealing with others.

Self management after emotional counselling

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It may sometimes feel that you are overwhelmed with several emotions at the same time and get confused. You are not able to think positive at all, always do the negative self-talk and emotional needs are unmet since a long period of time. This distress can be managed with the help of a Counsellor providing Emotional Counselling. Thus you can learn how to be able to reduce negativity in life, create a life that you want and handle your emotional needs by yourself.

You can have Emotional Counselling at OnlineCounselling4U which provides the best online counselling services. Counsellors at OnlineCounselling4U are experts, skilled and knowledgeable. You can book an appointment at your convenience, time and mode of session. We are always available to help you with your problems.

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How does a Counsellor help in reducing negative emotions in Emotional Counselling?

In Emotional Counselling, Counsellor assist their clients in addressing the deep root cause of all the problems creating negative emotions. When that particular problem is solved by the client with the help of the support, unconditional positive regard and trustful environment provided by the counsellor, negativity declines. Also, sometimes negative emotions arise when an individual is not able to share his issues with anyone and when he does shares problems with a counsellor, distress levels reduce along with the associated negative emotions. Thus, client gets a chance to develop positive emotions further.

How does Emotional Counselling really differ from General Counselling?

Counselling is given to people for all various kinds of issues and problems that they face including low self-confidence, family issues, work related issues and general stress. But Emotional Counselling specifically deals with the distress and negative emotions that arise when people face problems in their lives. They are given empathy and positive support. Clients at the end of the Emotional Counselling become able to understand, accept and regulate their emotions efficiently.

Is it ok to miss someone after a breakup?

Yes, it is completely normal to miss someone after a breakup but if that longing starts hindering your productivity, it is not healthy. You might want to consider breakup counselling.

Emotional Counselling effective for the people who have PTSD?

Yes, Emotional Counselling is very effective for the people who have PTSD because PTSD comes along with many negative emotions and degrading self-talk and that is the core area of Emotional Counselling. Clients with PTSD confide in a person they trust (The Counsellor), learn positivity and reduce negative self-talk.

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"you are searching for the magic key that will unlock the door to the source of power, and yet you have the key in your own hands, and you may make use of it the moment you learn to control your thoughts." ~ Napoleon Hill