Those of you that have had counselling, do you feel that it has helped you? Can a counsellor actually "de-program" your mind so that you can live a successful life?
Yes, but I think it's a mistake of thinking of going to counseling to get "de-programmed". What I addressed in counseling were a number of things that I needed, some of which were the consequence of growing up a JW, but many of them had nothing to do with growing up a JW.
No, a counselor cannot "de-program". In fact, the "de-programming" that used to happen way back when by cult experts has been rendered obsolete because that approach has proven to be more harmful than the cult experience.
My suggestions is to look for a suitable counselor, one who specializes in whichever thing you need counseling on (if you feel it's the negative influence of the WT, look for one who knows about high demand controlling groups; if you're depressed, look for one who knows how to treat depression. I needed one who knew how to properly work with gay men). There are a lot of quacks out there. Be selective and if it doesn't work out with one, keep looking.
The influence of the WT is not going to disappear from my life. I cannot just erase the first 23 years of my life as if they never happened. That's just not possible. What I can do is identify when I am making decisions or leading my life based on those believes. That, along with learning to bring the "world" to my life has been my journey. There are reasons why I don't give a fuck about the names of the current GB. There are reasons why my replies to posts related to what some old WT mag said is along the lines of "Who cares? What does that matter?". That's how I keep myself away from their influence. That's part of the work I do for myself.
I hope this helps.