• What is counselling?

Counselling is a process in which the client and counsellor work towards creating a change in certain aspects of the client’s life. These aspects could be relationships, work life, family, self-image, personal growth etc. based on what the client wants to work with. Counselling can be a safe, supportive and validating space that allows the person to express their experiences, emotions, and thoughts that are difficult to share and find ways to cope with and manage difficult situations.

A counsellor is a person who listens to and works with the client without judgement. The relationship between a counsellor and therapist is based on trust, non – judgment and confidentiality. This relationship becomes the foundation of therapy.

  • Who can provide counselling?

Counselling can be provided by a person who is professionally trained in Counselling or Clinical Psychology. The minimum qualification for a person to be a psychologist is a Masters Degree in Counselling or Clinical Psychology. The training that a therapist goes through involves building skills like empathy and non-judgementality, perspectives that assist in understanding different situations that people might go through and techniques that facilitate the counselling process.

  • What can I expect from counselling?

When a person goes for counselling, they can expect to be listened to without judgment and empathized with. Every person’s journey of counselling is unique and might take a new path, however, counselling could be a space in which the client and therapist work closely with difficult situations or emotions to find ways to make the client feel more comfortable. What we experience can be a combination of how the world around us functions and our perception of the world. We often find ourselves to be caught in an invalidating environment which impacts various aspects of our lives. Counselling could be a space to recognize and validate what we are going through and develop a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

  • What are the mediums via which I can access counselling?

Counselling is possible via several modes of communication, that is, through conversations in person, via video conferencing, telephone,  mail, and chat. Each mode of counselling has its own benefits and technology-assisted therapy increases the accessibility of the services across locations. Each person might find their comfort in different modes of counselling, for example, if a person feels comfortable and safe in their own home and does not feel upto going to the therapist’s office, they can access therapy via video conferencing from their home. On the other hand, some people would like to meet a therapist in a place that is away from any other aspect of their lives and would prefer to meet them in person.

Writing is a medium of self expression and many people find that they are able to organise and articulate their experiences or emotions while they write them down, and counselling via emails might be a mode that they would be comfortable with. Emails are an asynchronous medium of therapy and the therapist client interaction might be at a pace which allows both the time to process and articulate their thoughts and experiences, chat based counselling can be an alternative where we could provide therapy in a synchronous and written format. Both email and chat based therapy can provide greater privacy for the client.   

We encourage people to explore the different modes of therapy and find one which they feel most comfortable and safe while using.  

  • How can I pay for my sessions once I have booked them?

You can visit our online payment store by clicking here and choosing the correct mode for your payment (Full Price or #PayWhatYouWant). Once there, you can select your counsellor’s name and complete your payment using Netbanking, Credit or Debit Card, selected online wallets, and UPI. In case these payment modes are not accessible for you, you can also pay us in cash in person or via direct bank transfer. Please write to us at hello@thealternativestory.in for further assistance.

  • What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A psychologist is a professional who can work with clients in therapy towards gaining a better understanding about the concern they are dealing with, their relationships, themselves and the world around them. A psychologist has a minimum qualification of a Master’s Degree in Counselling or Clinical Psychology.

A psychiatrist on the other hand, is a doctor who can prescribe medication for various mental health concerns. A psychiatrist understands what the client is going through by taking a history of the client’s concerns and on its basis decides whether medication is necessary and accordingly prescribes medication. A psychiatrist has the qualification of M.D. in Psychiatry. Generally, a psychiatrist and psychologist work together with clients for their mental well-being.