I think willingness is the first factor. For someone to come to counselling they must be willing to explore what isn’t working in their life. It is helpful to have an open mind to a different perspective and also know that some work may be required to change any stubborn patterns of behaviour. Also important is the relationship between client and counsellor. If you find someone that you feel listens and understands you, and that you can trust enough to open up to, this will make a big difference in how the work progresses.
Honesty is next. Being honest not only with your therapist, but also being honest with yourself. That starts with acknowledging the truth of what you are feeling, and what the thoughts are you have going on. People come into my counselling room and don’t want to be feeling what they are feeling. But the truth is that these feelings exist within them at this moment in time. And pushing them away? Well it doesn’t tend to work, especially in the long term.
Commitment is also important. This is commitment to valuing yourself and to the healing journey you are on. It is important to give yourself the gift of time to explore what isn’t working and your patterns. If you have a problem that only came up last week, then it may not take long to resolve. However if you can trace back your issue to many years ago when you were younger, even to childhood; then chances are it may be pretty ingrained and take a bit longer to explore and work on.
In our profession we would love to be able to give someone a quick fix. But if that existed you would have found it online in a Google search by now.