What is Counselling?

Counselling is one of a range of talking therapies offered to people who are experiencing common psychological difficulties.

Counsellors believe that how we feel about ourselves, our personal world and the people in it, is of paramount importance. There are times in our lives when we experience distressing or unexpected events that feel overwhelming, endless, or insoluble.

Sometimes we know that our feelings are due to particular circumstances such as the loss of a job, illness, bereavement, relationship problems, or abuse.  At other times, we may be less clear as to what is going on; we simply know that our lives have become unhappy, difficult, or confusing and that we have lost our abilities to cope.

Through exploring our feelings we can come to a new understanding of our own situation, and through this, find different ways of coping.

Counselling believes that two things make this process of recovery more likely:

  1. The development of a genuine, warm, and trusting relationship between you and your counsellor, because without this it is very difficult for you to get in touch with how you think and feel. As this relationship grows, it can help you discover more about yourself, your strengths, values and what is really important for you, and not only help you to find your own solutions but to take action for yourself.
  2. Rather than focusing on symptoms, counselling sees you as a ‘whole person’ and tries to understand the world from your point of view.  

Counselling can seem difficult at first because it often involves talking about feelings that we have learnt to deny or hide away. However, although upsetting, it can also be a relief to share thoughts and feelings and to use this to develop a better understanding and acceptance of ourselves and make sense of our lives.

Counselling sessions usually take place once a week for six to eight weeks, and are fifty minutes long.

You can expect your counsellor to listen attentively, without making assumptions beforehand, and to respond and reflect back some of what you have said, and enable you to express some of the difficult feelings you may be experiencing. 

Your counsellor can also support you while you come to terms with difficult life events you may have gone through or are facing now.

Whilst Counselling does not profess to be the answer to every human problem, it does offer the opportunity for people to explore different ways of looking at themselves and their lives and to find more effective ways of coping.

 

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