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What is Counselling?

Counselling is a process in which regular discussions and sharing of thoughts, fears and feelings with a trained counsellor can help you to understand and resolve what is troubling you whether it comes from circumstances, other people, or yourself. It can therefore assist you to make decisions or changes which could enable you to lead your life more fully.

The basis of all counselling is objective and supportive listening and respect for the client as an individual. Writing or talking about things previously pushed aside by the pressures of everyday life can be a difficult process - but the opportunity to explore your feelings in a private, confidential, and non-judgemental atmosphere can be a relief in itself. Through interacting with a counsellor a person is helped to cope more effectively with everyday life.

Counselling provides an opportunity to gain new perspectives and can encourage progress towards a sense of greater well-being.

Who can benefit from Counselling?

Any "normal" person who is facing a difficult situation that he or she has not been able to resolve alone. In other words everyone (even counsellors themselves!) needs counselling at some time or another. It's not a matter of being "weak" but just sensibly recognizing when you could do with a little help.

Why do I need a counsellor?

Very often friends and family are not easily accessible, especially if you've moved away from the place in which you grew up. Even when they are available, friends or family may not be able to help or they may be part of the problem themselves. Or you may not want them to know about the problem. A counsellor is neutral and objective and is trained to understand and help.

For what issues can I get help?

Some of the issues for which people frequently seek help are:

  • PERSONAL: Lack of confidence, anger management, bereavement, loneliness and depression, shyness, sexual concerns, overcoming habits (smoking, pornography, alcohol, drugs), traumatic past experiences, personality development
  • RELATIONSHIP: Marriage (frequent conflicts, unmet expectations, in-law concerns, infidelity, sexual difficulties), and pre-marital issues, relationships with friends of same and opposite sex, break-up of romantic relationships, family concerns, lack of assertiveness
  • WORK: Relationship with boss and colleagues, lack of motivation and concentration, career growth and performance concerns, work-life balance, stress, harassment, time management, fear of speaking in meetings, handling shift work
  • PARENTING: Deciding to have a baby, child care, discipline, quality time, school (academic performance, bullying, relationship with friends & teachers), handling teenagers.
  • CAREER GUIDANCE: Information regarding different career options, examination fear and stress, failure etc.

We do NOT provide legal, financial or medical assistance (This is just intended to give you a general idea of the range of issues - it is not a completely exhaustive list)

How will counselling help me?

As you describe your problem, the very act of expressing your feelings to a person who is not judging you will be helpful. The counsellor will then help you to understand yourself and the problem more fully. Suggestions and various options open to you will be given. In some situations a single session will be sufficient but in many cases you may require an ongoing sessions. The entire process will help you to help yourself more effectively.

Range of counselling options

We offer a different forms of counselling according to your preference. You could choose the e-counselling service in the first stance, later if required, you can visit our counselling centre and meet a counselor face-to-face or speak to a counsellor on the telephone. If you wish to, you can shift from one form of counselling to another depending on your comfort level.

What happens in online counselling?

Online counselling is the same as any other counselling - just using a different medium. You write through our website, your mail will be read by one of our professional counsellors, who will reply within 48 hours. The counselor does not give you a 'pat' answer, but instead takes you through the counselling process as described above. Here too, you may require just one response, but usually it will involve ongoing e-mail interactions.

Even if you are not too sure what to write, just make a start and your counsellor will help you to express your thoughts more fully.

Are the counselors qualified?

Counselling (whether online, telephonic or face-to-face) will be provided by one of the qualified, trained counsellors whose names are listed in the panel of counsellors. This is very important because the wrong kind of help or advice could leave you worse off! When required you may be directed to a specialist in the appropriate field.

Will I have the same counsellor each time?

Once you have used our counselling service, your future mails will be automatically directed to the same counsellor, who has access to all your previous mails and will therefore understand you well.

What are the advantages of Online Counselling?

Going to a counsellor can be difficult. You may be embarrassed about a sensitive issue or concerned about what other people will think. Timings may be inconvenient and distances prohibitive. You may not be really sure if you need to see a counsellor or if counselling will be helpful at all.

Online counselling gives you privacy and anonymity (you don't even have to give your real name when you write). It is often much easier to share sensitive personal issues through e-mail. Many of our clients share with us issues that they have never spoken about before.

It is convenient and easily accessible from the comfort of your own desk at home or office. Offers increased access to services from rural and remote locations.

Time efficiency: You don't need to take time off work or travel anywhere

Since everything is written down, you can choose to re-read an email as often as you like, write in installments or set aside your mail and edit it later. You have the option of taking all the time you need to think things through so you can write exactly what you mean, or to spontaneously write whatever comes to your mind. You can also read through the counsellor's responses any number of times, and can trace your own progress as you review earlier sessions.

There may, however, be situations when your counsellor feels that you would make better progress with face-to-face counselling. If so this will be recommended.

Some of the disadvantages are:

  • Text Based communications often 'truncate' the communication which may lead to misunderstandings. You or your counsellor would say more in a face to face situation than you do when you are typing.
  • Non-verbal cues normally present in a conversation are not accessible, increasing the risk of misinterpretation for both you and your counsellor. Counsellors are trained in how to communicate tone, feeling, humour etc, but these can more easily be misinterpreted. Sometimes you have to say "out loud" what the counsellor would be able to deduce if he or she could see you.
  • Sometimes situations are too complex to be adequately conveyed in text messages and therefore the online contact may need to be supplemented by telephone counselling.

Are there things I should tell the counsellor?

It is helpful if you are aware of the limitations of text-based communications. Remember that your counsellor has no visual prompts, so she/he cannot read your facial expressions or body language. The counsellor won't be able to tell if you are physically hurt, and may have difficulty reading your emotions. There can also be misunderstandings when using text.

You should tell your counsellor if:

  • you have mental health issues or addictions.
  • you have been drinking or taking drugs before the session.
  • you are in a domestic violence situation, or if you and your partner have heated arguments which become physical.
  • you are in a crisis situation or fear for your safety.
  • you don't understand something the counsellor is saying, or need clarification.
  • you have concerns about online counselling. Emotions come up for you during the session, such as sadness or anger. Remember that your counsellor can't see your face.

Do I have to give a lot of personal information?

We do not require you to give any details about your designation or any other company details. However it does help if you give the counselor as much details about the relevant problem situation as possible. The more relevant information you provide, the more applicable the answer will be. If you choose not to reveal details, we will still attempt to help you, but you may find the replies less adequate. This information will not be used for any other purpose, nor will it be revealed to anyone else.

Is the counselling really confidential?

Confidentiality and trust is the very basis of professional counselling. Aashayen-The Hope assures you that all information given will be kept completely confidential*. No details about any individual employee are revealed to your company.

*(The only exception to this is in case of suicide or homicide - as per worldwide counselling ethics. In case of suicidal or homicidal risk we will have to break confidentiality by informing a responsible person in your family and/or your organization.)

How secure is this service?

We have made every effort to ensure security of your data.

  • All communication on our website utilize secure technology to protect your privacy and prevent any unauthorized access to your information.
  • You will be writing your query directly on our website and do not have to go through your company's intranet.
  • You may choose to receive mails at any e-mail address of your choice. Alternately you could read the counsellor's responses on a password-protected 'My Page' on our website.
  • After your mails have been answered they will be stored on 'My Page' for the duration of time you specify after which they will be automatically transferred offline. You can also delete your online records manually whenever you wish. (However at any point if you want to retrieve your mails you can do so.)

We recommend...

Your greatest "security risk" is most likely to arise from the record you keep of your email. Anyone who has access to your computer could potentially read any information you keep there, including your email.

We recommend that you avoid receiving mails on your official e-mail address since your employer usually has a legal right to see your email. Once you have registered, it is preferable that you also change the e-mail address on your profile.

If you share a computer at work or at home, take additional precautions to ensure that no one else can see your mail. In case you take a printout of the responses, be careful not to leave it lying around.

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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