What is Communication Counselling?
Simply put, communication is “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behaviors.” But if life teaches us anything, it is that it is rarely that easy. You could be in a relationship, trying to express yourself, not understanding why your partner does not “get it.” Or you could be trying to communicate professionally, giving a presentation or important meeting before the board members.
Either way, communication matters.
When communication breaks down, it can have many negative implications. Broken relationships, homes and families split apart when couples are unable to share their true feelings and instead resort to hurtful words. A job lost when unvoiced desires spill over into anger or violence. The ability to speak what is on your mind in a way that others clearly understand can be the most useful skill you ever develop. That is why counselling can be so important.
Being able to communicate effectively does not come naturally. Through counselling you can learn the important steps in this process. Despite what you might think, it does not start with speaking but rather active listening, or real understanding. Once you know what the other person is trying to share, you are able to relate your thoughts in a way that is better attuned to their situation. If you share in their terms, they are more likely to understand you. Alone or with a partner, counselling is a great place to start if you feel like your conversations are not “getting through.”
Helpful Communication Resources
The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association is one of the governing counselling bodies in Canada, one that of therapists are a part of. The have a very helpful page on “Healthy Communication” that explains the basics of many of these principles. Click this link for more information.