What is Counselling ?
"Counselling falls under the umbrella term ‘talking therapies’ and allows people to discuss their problems and any difficult feelings they encounter in a safe, confidential environment. The term can mean different things to different people, but in general, it is a process people seek when they want to change something in their lives, or simply explore their thoughts and feelings in more depth" (Counselling Directory)
Basically counselling can be described as an encounter between two people, the client (you) and the counsellor(me), in a safe and confidential space where you, the client, have an opportunity to talk about any issues that are troubling you.
What does a Counsellor Do?
As a counsellor I'm not here to tell you what to do. With my encouragement and support you'll be talking about what's causing you distress, considering what the root causes of this may be, and looking at the ways that you're thinking about it. As your counsellor I'll enable and empower you to find your own solutions to these issues. These solutions will be things that you feel you're capable of doing, either by yourself or with support from others in your life.
What kind of issues will counselling help with?
Counselling can help with a wide variety of issues from depression and anxiety through to eating disorders, addiction, bereavement, stress. Pretty much anything that is troubling you can be brought to therapy, and talking it through and exploring issues with the right counsellor/therapist can really help. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your counsellor and that you don't feel judged or asked to do anything you're unhappy with. You have the driving seat.
What kind of counselling or therapy is right for me and my problems?
You've probably seen a bewildering number of therapies being offered, e.g. Person-Centred, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic, Transactional Analysis (TA), NLP and many others.
It can be hard to know where to start, and what therapy is likely to be most helpful for you with your particular issue.
The good news is that a whole range of studies have been conducted, looking into which are the most effective therapies. By and large they have concluded that one of the most important things in determining the success of therapy isn't the type of therapy being offered, but the relationship between the counsellor and the client.
It's helpful however, to understand that some therapies, such as CBT will require you as the client to be more actively involved, e.g. undertaking tasks between sessions, where as others, such as person-centred involve largely talking.
How will I feel?
Counselling is a personal process and how you feel will depend on the kind of issues you're bringing. It may involve talking about painful experiences or choices you've made and this may initially make you feel worse. However, with the support of a good counsellor, the therapy should help you to feel better now about events which have troubled you in the past. Therapy won't change the past, but it can change how you feel about it.
How soon will I feel better?
This will depend upon the complexity of the issues you would like to work on. Some people feel better after just a few sessions, whereas for others, the process can be much longer.
Will it definitely work?
Therapy does not work for everyone. Sometimes people find that they'd rather not continue to talk about issues which are painful for them. However, what is known to greatly improve the chances of a positive outcome is the quality of the relationship between client and counsellor. With a warm, empathic and non-judgemental working relationship, it's possible to work through these difficult feelings.
Hopefully this page has given you a general idea of how counselling works. For more specific information on how I may be able to help you, please visit my page: How can I Help?