Following research that shows that most people who enter counselling make their biggest gains in one to five sessions, the Student Development Centre has adopted a brief therapy model for personal counselling. While brief therapy is intended to be time efficient, as a Brock student there is no limit to the number of counselling sessions you may receive. Our model encourages you to collaborate actively with your counsellor in a process that emphasizes your competence, your strengths and your possibilities rather than your limitations. The counsellor will normally invite you to undertake observations and/or action tasks between sessions. She or he will work with you to develop clear-cut goals in order that you can measure progress and know when counselling is "finished".
Rapid progress often occurs with this approach. When your goals have been met or you are "on track" for meeting them, you either end counselling, negotiate a new focus and new goals, or plan a maintenance or follow-up strategy to assure continuation of your success. In this approach, frequency of sessions can range from weekly to monthly (or even longer intervals) depending on your confidence about continuing progress on your own.
When counselling ends, you are always welcome to return at a later time for assistance if you require it.
Students using our service over the years have consistently rated its helpfulness and the relationship they had with their counsellor very highly.
Some underlying beliefs or values of brief therapy which you may want to clarify with your counsellor include:
- An emphasis on using the "least intrusive" action to get you back on track, rather than on "cure." While actively working with you your counsellor will try to take "the smallest necessary action" to help you accomplish your goals, attempting thereby to encourage independent action.
- An emphasis on strengths and resources and on solving the problem you identify.
- Change is constant. Clarifying and facilitating those changes that are constructive for you can facilitate your rapid movement toward your goal.
- Small changes can lead to big changes. Counselling often initiates a "virtuous spiral" or interrupts a "vicious circle."
- Most change occurs outside of counselling.
- Your life outside of counselling is more important than counselling.
- Counselling is not always helpful. If progress is not apparent, trying something else may be prudent.