Benefits of Counselling in Making Decisions

Benefits of Counselling in Making Decisions

How long do you take to make a decision? What kind of outcome are you expecting as an effect of your decision? An article1 from the Harvard Business Review defines a decision as “great” through a few key points such as:

  • Getting various opinions from people who can expand your view
  • Making timely decisions
  • Finding the root cause
  • Applying short-term and long-term aspects

Many of us want to make informed decisions with calculated risks. Running our ideas through others can provide us with insights and touch on our blind spots. A qualified counsellor can zoom out from your situation with you and see aspects that you may not otherwise see when you are in the situation itself. This is similar to having blindspots when you drive a car. There are just some parts that you would need others to see for you.

Life is a long journey of highs and lows, which means what you experience or face today can differ from yesterday and tomorrow. Making decisions across a timeline can thus be influenced by the factors that exist during a particular moment or period. A counsellor who practises coaching can collaborate with you in creating ways to achieve your goals in a timely manner. After all, some decisions have to be made at this moment, while others can wait the next decade.

Some of us struggle to make decisions because we are afraid we may be wrong or things may get worse. The notion of possible failure can cripple us in proceeding with actions that are supposed to move us forward. In this case, seeking the root cause of a problem can ensure solutions are directly addressing the issues. Counselling addresses our emotions as we explore possibilities and challenges that can make us feel frustrated, confused, stressed and more. When negative emotions evoke our impulsivity, hence affecting our ability to make decisions that thrive better when we are calm and settled, our fight, flight or freeze2 mode kicks in and takes over the decision making often without us realizing (Thompson et al., 2014).

Our decisions can make or break us. They may not always define us, but they should tell us and others something about ourselves. Just as we have short-term and long-term goals, our decision-making ability needs to learn to ride with the nature of our objectives. Your counsellor is committed to working with you in meeting your needs and wants. You get to decide what you want and when you want; and this is where you begin.

Case (*names have been changed to protect the individuals)

John* and Mary* are contesting their divorce. John actually wants to salvage the marriage and is convinced that he and Mary are able to reconcile and stop the divorce proceedings. Mary, however, is determined to put an end to their marriage and tells John repeatedly that it is “too late” and that she is not interested in continuing their relationship.

John tries to talk to Mary. He tells her that he is sorry for all the years he made her suffer and promises her that he can and will change to be a better partner to her. Mary tells John again that she is no longer interested in what he does and what he intends to do. She reminds him of all the times he had hurt her both mentally and physically, and tells him she had tried to get him to couple counselling, to which he was resistant to and did not participate as he should. John tells Mary that he agrees with her that he is in the wrong and that he should have taken couple counselling seriously and tells her that he will attend the sessions with her from now on.

Mary tells John that counselling would be useful for John as an individual and that he needs to work on himself. John immediately agrees and suggests that they make an appointment to see a counsellor soon. Mary rejects his suggestion, telling John that she is not interested in working things out with him anymore as she has moved on from him for several years now.

The above scenario can be frustrating for some couples. Making a decision on whether to continue with a relationship or not is stressful enough when a person tries to make them alone, much less when two people try to make them together. There are many other scenarios where counselling can help with the making of decisions. There are decisions to be made regarding commercial disputes, human conflicts, obstacles to moving forward with actions, and so on. Decision making can thus be made with the consideration of both emotional and logical aspects when it is done in counselling sessions. All in all, counselling can help individuals work through their thoughts separately and collectively in a safe space, getting them the clarity they need and want to have in order to make their next step.


  1. Moore, M. G. (2022). How to make great decisions quickly. Retrieved from
  2. Fight, flight, and freeze: Threat sensitivity and emotion dysregulation in survivors of chronic childhood maltreatment. Authors: Kristen L.Thompson, Susan M.Hannan, Lynsey R.Miron. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 69, October 2014, Pages 28-32
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