Imagination may be unusual, but some people can be fooled about what it really is. Where counseling is unsettling thanks to Hollywood and well-written books, people who have never been to counseling think you come in, sit on the couch and talk while some guy with a notebook writes about you. You can also find more information about counseling at http://mindandbodyworks.com.
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Consulting is not like that. In general, a consultation is a place where professionals provide advice, opinion or guidance based on what the patient has discussed with them. In some cases, the consultant can be seen almost as an advisor. Consultations take place in an informal and comfortable environment where patients are free to talk about what is bothering them. They can freely express their feelings and emotions in front of someone they know and listen to them.
It's easy for people who don't really know what they're suggesting to fail to see that there are different types of advice for different problems. Counseling is very similar to therapy in that there is each area that counseling focuses on. It's not just one area that includes one person. In fact, there are different topics that different consultants will specialize in.
Marriage counseling is where a couple goes to a counselor to help them resolve their marital problems and resolve any issues they may have. Some couples even go to marriage counseling before marriage to ensure they maintain the strong bond they have throughout their long and happy marriage. Family counseling comes more often when parents struggle with their children.
The consulting field mentioned above is just one of the many that actually exist in the world today. This is a very wide area that covers only the topic, someone will be able to offer advice if needed. Nothing to be afraid of and far from old cliches. In the end, only fear and misunderstanding keep many people from opening up to the idea of counseling.