Counselling is a talking therapy, the aim is to allow people to discuss their problems, their past or their future in a confidential environment.
People come to counselling for many different reasons but in general it is a process where someone seeks to change something in their lives or explore their thoughts and feelings in more depth.
There are many different types of counselling, you can click here for a long list of them. Counselling is a different kind of relationship than we normally experience in life.
Often what we say to others has a knock-on effect, altering relationships and the way people see each other. Counselling eliminates this problem and offers you the space and freedom to explore your own thoughts with an unbiased person.
Counselling does not have a particular shape, the work is tailored to individuals . This gives counselling a lot of flexibility that allows for a variety of formats.
Counselling is usually working one-to-one but some counsellors also work on the telephone or online, or work within groups.
– a safe time and place to talk to someone who won’t judge you
– somewhere you can make sense of things and understand yourself better
– somewhere you can resolve complicated feelings, or find ways to live with them
– a way to help you recognise unhelpful patterns in the way you think or act, and find ways to change them (if you want to)
Counselling often requires you to discuss upsetting emotions and painful memories. Bringing up these thoughts can feel difficult to start with and initially, you may feel worse. This process is necessary to move forward and in time, you should start to feel better.
To get the most from your counselling sessions you should aim to make them consistent. Some sessions will feel more helpful than others, but it’s important to realise that everything your counsellor is doing is designed to help you in the long run, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the beginning.
It’s also worth remembering that counselling is not a quick fix, and that your counsellor will not be able to tell you what to do. The counselling process requires a strong relationship between you and your counsellor and a degree of effort on your part – together these two elements create a successful method to help you reach your goals.
Counselling is not…
A counsellor will not tell you what to do or give advice. Instead, they will encourage you to talk about what’s going on for you in order to help you understand the root causes in your life, to identify your particular patterns of thinking & feeling.
The counsellor can work with you to create a plan of action to either help you reconcile your issues, or help you to find ways of coping.
Counselling is not a medical process, so you won’t get a diagnosis or a treatment. The counsellor can’t provide drugs or a sick note but they can help you work out what you want to say to your GP or other medical professional.
So what does Counselling do…?
The way counselling can help will depend on the person.
For many, the fact that counselling offers a safe and confidential environment to speak is all it takes to help.
While counsellors can not give you concrete advice or a checklist of things to do, what they will do is help you uncover your own insight and provide you with tools which will help you resolve them on your own.
Counselling can help you understand yourself better and the way you think, which will ultimately help you develop a clearer understanding of your problems.
Gradually it will become easier to navigate your way through any difficulties you are facing, so that eventually you can come out the other side feeling more positive. Counselling can also help you better understand other people’s point of view, which can shed light onto the way you interpret words or actions.