Accidental counsellors aren’t professional but get into a position of counselling someone accidentally. In the unintentional counselling course, one learns how to respond if they see someone in distress or planning of suicide.
Sometimes, people who were never trained as counsellors find themselves advising someone in distress or contemplating suicide. It’s not an easy thing to do, and if you don’t know what to say, it could make matters worse. That’s why we recommend taking the Accidental Counsellor course, which teaches you how to respond when you see someone in such a critical situation.
In this article, we will discuss the key points from the accidental counsellor suicide prevention training and courses. That everyone should be prepared for when approached by someone who needs help but doesn’t know where else to turn. These pointers will train you if faced with these difficult conversations that may often come up in everyday life.
- Listen and Let the Person Speak
One of the essential elements in accidental counselling is listening to what the person says. Empathy is one of the biggest keys in any situation and how one can react appropriately in a given situation. If you are unable to be empathic with someone, then there is likely harm that can come to that individual and you.
- Focus On the Person’s Feelings, Not Their Situation
The second most crucial component in accidental counselling is to focus on the person’s emotions and not the factual situation. A listening ear will help them work through their feelings and help them to realise they are not alone. This is where you become friends and help guide them, if possible, to a new direction in life if they ask for your advice.
3. Be Non-Judgmental and Respectful Of Their Boundaries
It is essential to respect their boundaries and not push further in what they are comfortable with.
- Always Be Honest and Respect Their Privacy
Accidental counsellor will always require honesty and respect for privacy. For example, a person with too much to drink may want their drinking habits discussed, but this should be done privately and concerning the individual’s wishes. This can help them realise that they are not alone and many around them may also be suffering from similar problems.
- Do Not Feel Threatened By the Individual in Need
This can be a terrifying situation, and it is essential to keep a cool head when dealing with someone in distress. They need you to be a friend and possibly guide them through the situation they are currently facing. If they know you will defend yourself and be aggressive, they may not approach you in the future if they need someone to confide in.
- Offer Help and Be Willing To Refer Them to Someone More Qualified
Accidental counselling will require one to offer help and assistance if needed. It is essential to understand one’s limits when it comes to counselling and be willing to refer someone if you feel uncomfortable handling a situation yourself. If you are not immediately able to help, it doesn’t mean you will never be able to. Be kind and reassure the individual that you are there for them in the future should they need help again.
- Don’t Criticize Anything the Person Is Doing
Whether someone is making an unwise decision or has poor judgement. Accidental counselling is about being supportive of others without criticising anything they do or say. It is essential not to be judgmental, even if you believe the person should do things a certain way. They are seeking your friendly advice without any pressure.
- Don’t Feel As If You Are Required To Solve Their Problem
One of the biggest mistakes a person can make when they are counselling someone is trying to solve their problem for them. Many people may want immediate answers and solutions, which can put undue pressure on both parties. In reality, you may be able to help guide someone through their problem. But don’t feel as if you have to solve it for them.
- Ask Open-Ended Questions to Guide a Conversation
A specific course in accidental counselling will always require asking open-ended questions to help guide a conversation. These are usually questions someone can answer, and it may lead them to have other things they want to discuss or talk about.
- Don’t Feel As If You Have To Stay With the Person All the Time
It is essential to do everything possible, not to isolate yourself from them non-stop. If one is not able to interact with others, it can be very hard not to isolate yourself. In reality, you have many other essential things in your life that also need your attention.
Accidental counselling cannot be rushed, and there will be many times when the person who needs help will need an immediate response. The best thing you can do is remain compassionate and honest in your communication, listen to what the person has to say, offer support and take things slowly as they come along.
This can help them realise that they are not alone in their suffering and may even lead them towards positive change for the better. Accidental counselling requires trust and confidence in one another from both parties. Suicide prevention courses help you deal better with these situations.