What is the nature of psychological counseling, and what are the potential benefits and risks ?

Psychological counseling or psychotherapy is not easily described. It depends on the personalities of the psychologist and client, and the particular problems the client is experiencing. There are many different methods used to deal with the problems that people hope to address. Psychotherapy is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on part of the client. In order for the therapy to be most successful, clients have to work on things discussed during sessions and at home.

Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. Since therapy often involves addressing and discussing unpleasant aspects of life, clients may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, psychotherapy has also been shown to have many benefits. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. However, there are no guarantees of what clients will experience.  

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