Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
What is counselling?
Counselling is a process that seeks to help you focus on exploring and understanding the issues that concern or bother you in a safe environment with a trained professional facilitating the process. The counsellor's role is to offer support while maintaining confidentiality. Counselling is a nonjudgmental, collaborative process. The counsellor will respect your values, choices, and lifestyle. Counselling can help you with making choices, changes or decisions that are in your best interest. With therapy, you can gain a deeper insight into your issues and learn to deal with them more efficiently and effectively.
What is the difference between speaking to a counsellor who does not know anything about me and speaking to a trusted friend or dear one?
A counsellor or psychotherapist, by virtue of their training, enables an environment where individuals can safely explore their issues and reflect upon them without any fear of judgment, bias, or ridicule. In friendships or close-relationships, both parties listen to one another and support each other. But in therapy, the focus is solely on YOU. Even if the therapist chooses to share a personal experience with you (a practice known as self-disclosure), it is with you in mind. When talking about an issue with a near and dear one, their own biases and feelings towards you may influence their conversations with you, whereas a therapist will remain objective since they have no personal relationship with you the way a near and dear one does; hence, they will not be influenced by personal feelings.
Also, while therapy often seems to be a casual conversation, the therapist may ask questions during your session to help you uncover meaning and reflect on life experiences and how those may have shaped your current situation. They may help you make connections to discover hidden emotions. They may help you look at your thoughts and how your self-talk contributes to your feelings. A good friend will be caring and supportive during difficult moments while a good therapist will be empowering, compassionate and insightful. Having both of these people in your life is a win-win.
If I start counselling, I worry that I’ll be in therapy forever. Is it true?
The purpose of counselling or any form of psychotherapy is to enable individuals to live healthy, wholesome, independent lives. The goal of therapy is always your empowerment. We do not believe that one needs to stay in therapy forever because, throughout, the process remains collaborative where you as the expert in your life gain greater awareness and find your own answers. There are people who experience relief after the first or second session itself, while some require 6-8 sessions on an average before they experience significant differences. We are always available if you require therapeutic assistance in the future as well.
For what kind of issues can I seek counselling?
In general, you are welcome to discuss any issue with the counsellor. People seek counselling for a range of different issues, such as abuse, addictions, anger, anxiety, assertiveness and confidence, depression, eating disorders, fears and phobias, grief and loss, loneliness, parenting, sexuality, stress, trauma and violence. Therapy helps you manage your emotions. It helps you cope with changes and transition-points in life, right from helping you figure and chalk out a career-path that works best for you, helping you identify and heal unhealthy relationship patterns, or just better adjust to life in a new setting. Counselling helps you deal with any issue you have as effectively as possible.
What will others think of me if they know I am visiting a counsellor?
We are aware that there is a lot of stigma attached to seeking support for mental health. We also understand that, for many, accepting that one is only human and cannot manage everything by themselves can be quite a humbling experience. From our end, we try supporting you on your journey by maintaining high standards of anonymity and confidentiality. We truly believe that sometimes, asking for help is the most meaningful example of self-reliance. Anybody with the willingness to explore any area of life can benefit from counselling. We strongly advocate that while not everyone has a label of a “mental illness”, everyone has mental health and it is their responsibility to take care of their mental health. Therefore, our team of counsellors at the Silver Lining Wellness Centre Pvt. Ltd. also undergo regular counselling sessions because we truly believe in leading by example and practicing what we preach.
How confidential is the service?
We take special care of your confidentiality. The information you share with your counsellor is not shared with anyone without your consent. Our team is ethically bound to maintain confidentiality at all times except in situations where there is risk of self-harm, harm to others, or child abuse.
Will I have to pay to avail your services?
Any professional service requires a healthy energy exchange. The fee for the first consultation is Rs. 1000. Prices vary for the subsequent sessions depending on the nature of services availed. Personal well-being is a priority, and we have our prices set to a sliding scale to ensure therapy is available at affordable costs for everyone. We understand that for some, therapy can seem expensive especially when they are looking only at the price-tag and not the total value. Counselling and psychotherapy can confer significant benefits, including an improved financial outlook or better career prospects. People who are less productive because of anxiety or depression, who suffer from creative blocks, who struggle to identify the right career path, who engage in habits like compulsive shopping, overeating, gambling, smoking or alcohol, may ultimately have more money as a result of therapy. Even when therapy does not offer a direct economic benefit, it can greatly and permanently improve your life. Get in touch with us and we will do our best to help you achieve what you want out of your therapy sessions. If you are thinking of signing up for therapy, consider the overall value of therapy, not just the cost.
What is the process of availing the services?
At the Silver Lining Wellness Centre Pvt. Ltd., we do not accept walk-in clients, hence it is mandatory for you to book an appointment. You can do so by filling an intake form which will be mailed to you as soon as you contact us. Once you have filled the form and submitted your details, we will get in touch with you within the next 48 hours to schedule your session. We offer online sessions over Skype as well as face-to-face counselling sessions. The first session is usually a general consultation that lasts for 45 minutes. Appointments for subsequent sessions can be booked directly with the counsellor at the end of the first session itself.
In case of a crisis, reach out to us over the phone and we will get in touch with you to accommodate your request at the earliest possible.
What happens if I miss a scheduled appointment?
In order to get the best out of therapy, we recommend that you prioritize your weekly appointment once you have confirmed it. If you realize that you cannot make it, please let us know at least 24 hours in advance so that we can allot that time to someone else. In the case of an occasional emergency, we do not levy any charges for missing an appointment. However, if you find yourself frequently missing scheduled appointments or making last-minute cancellations, we would encourage you to have an open conversation with your counsellor about what’s really going on at your end. We may charge you a fifty-percent cancellation fee if you have not turned up or initiated a call to let us know you aren’t coming within fifteen minutes of the scheduled time.
In case of online counselling via phone or Skype, if a session is unable to take place due to connectivity issues or reasons beyond the control of the counsellor or client, the session can be rescheduled without any additional charges.
What if I am late for my session?
Please make sure that you are on time for your session as there may be another client immediately after yours. The session will end at its designated time in order to ensure that the next client is not kept waiting. If you know ahead of time that you will be late, please give us a heads-up over a call or text, so that we can work out the best possible option for you.
Are online sessions over Skype as effective as those conducted over physical meetings?
Yes, sessions conducted online produce the same result as the ones conducted face-to-face. Online sessions provide the comfort of your chosen place - be it your room at home, or somewhere else. Based on mutual consent, the sessions can be flexibly scheduled. In the present scenario, with busy lifestyles and hectic schedules, travelling from one part of the city to another can be time-consuming. In such situations, online sessions are a welcome change, and often prove to be a boon especially in the face of traffic!
I am not sure if I need therapy. I just want to explore. How can I go about it?
We have an arrangement of the first consultation for this very purpose. The form you fill before we fix your first appointment helps us customize the session as per your individual needs. The first session gives us a chance to explore the scope of work we have before us and for you to decide if you need or want therapy. You are solely responsible for the life you choose for yourself, and we will not be compelling you to walk on any particular path. We will not force you or insist upon you to take further sessions if you do not wish to, because we have utmost respect for your autonomy and decision-making skills. In the first consultation, the counsellor will have a detailed discussion with you about the particular issues you wish to resolve and also explain in-depth about the various techniques that could help you move closer to achieving your goals.
Can I stop taking medication if I’m on any while I am undergoing counselling?
We request you to share your medical history with us in the first consultation along with your medical reports if possible. The services at Silver Lining Wellness Centre Pvt. Ltd. are designed to work simultaneously with other medical practices or alternative therapies for your overall well-being. If you are on medication, please do not stop taking them unless your medical doctor has advised you to do so. If you have been suggested psychiatric medication and your psychiatrist feels you need to take them for a longer period of time, please do so. We recommend you to not go off your medication without the approval of a trained medical professional.
What is the guarantee that therapy will work for me?
At an ethical level, no counsellor or therapist can make you any promises, predictions or guarantees about what they can do. Just like physicians, physical trainers or surgeons, counsellors and therapists can’t know whether their efforts will turn out to be helpful - only time and a careful, continuous, collaborative commitment will tell. We believe that therapy is about committing to yourself first and doing all the inner-work that is needed to be done in order to overcome the issues you are battling. Therapy, like everything else, works if you do, or want it to. It is all a choice.
Will the counsellor be available for me at all times?
At the Silver Lining Wellness Centre Pvt. Ltd., we understand that you may have some questions or require support at certain odd hours, but it is not possible for us to be available for you all the time. Just like you devote a certain number of hours in a day to your work, in the same way, we would like you to respect the boundaries of our team of professionals as well. We see many clients in a day, and it is not possible for us to answer calls or respond to texts all the time. If you feel the need to reach out, leave a message or an email and your counsellor will get in touch with you. Our consultation time is between 10:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays so you may not get a response outside of these hours.