Counselling is a talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment. A counsellor is trained to listen with empathy (by putting themselves in your shoes). They can help you deal with any negative thoughts and feelings that you have. Sometimes, the term 'counselling' is used to refer to talking therapies in general.
Counselling aims to help you deal with and overcome issues that are causing pain or making you feel uncomfortable.It can provide a safe and regular space for you to talk and explore difficult feelings. The counsellor is there to support you and respect your views. They will not usually give advice, but will help you to find your own insight and understanding of your problems.
Counselling can help you to:
- cope with a bereavement or relationship breakdown
- cope with redundancy or work-related stress
- explore issues such as sexual identity
- deal with issues that are preventing you from achieving your ambitions
- deal with feelings of depression or sadness, and have a more positive outlook on life
- understand yourself and your problems better
- feel more confident
- develop a better understanding of other people's points of view
Counselling can often involve talking about difficult or painful feelings and, as you begin to face them, you may feel worse in some ways. However, with the help and support of your therapist, you should gradually start to feel better. In most cases, it takes a number of sessions before the counselling starts to make a difference, and a regular commitment is required to make the best use of the therapy.
A good counsellor will focus on you and listen without judging or criticising you. They may help you find out about how you could deal with your problems, but they should not tell you what to do. For counselling to be effective, you need to build a trusting and safe relationship with your counsellor. If you feel that you and your counsellor are not getting on, or that you are not getting the most out of your sessions, you should discuss this with your counsellor.
Sessions last for 50 minutes and are normally booked in blocks of 6.