What is Counselling?
Counselling is a service provided to people who wish to make changes in their lives. The therapist helps to identify the choices for change, and supports the individual during their process of change. The aim of counselling is to leave the individual better equipped to cope for the future. Counselling is defined by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) as the exploration of: A difficulty the client is having Distress the client may be experiencing A client’s dissatisfaction with life Loss of a sense of direction and purpose Counselling is always carried out in a private and confidential setting.
People come to counselling for many reasons:
To seek solutions to specific life problems To understand and better manage their emotions To improve communication within a relationship
How does Counselling work?
By listening attentively and patiently the counsellor can begin to perceive the difficulties from the client’s point of view and can help them to see things more clearly, possibly from a different perspective. Counselling is a way of enabling choice or change or of reducing confusion. It does not involve giving advice or directing a client to take a particular course of action. Counsellors do not judge or exploit their clients in any way. In the counselling sessions the client can explore various aspects of their life and feelings, talking about them freely and openly in a way that is rarely possible with friends or family. Bottled up feelings such as anger, anxiety, grief and embarrassment can become very intense and counselling offers an opportunity to explore them, with the possibility of making them easier to understand. The counsellor will encourage the expression of feelings and as a result of their training will be able to accept and reflect the client’s problems without becoming burdened by them. Acceptance and respect for the client are essentials for a counsellor and, as the relationship develops, so too does trust between the counsellor and client, enabling the client to look at many aspects of their life, their relationships and themselves which they may not have considered or been able to face before. The counsellor may help the client to examine in detail the behaviour or situations which are proving troublesome and to find an area where it would be possible to initiate some change as a start. The counsellor may help the client to look at the options open to them and help them to decide the best for them. Counselling is about change. Counselling provides a regular time and space for people to talk about their troubles and explore difficult feelings, in an environment that is dependable, free from intrusion and confidential. It is confidential, though there are parameters and limitations to this confidentiality. Counselling is a voluntary process. Counselling is a process with a beginning a middle and an end, through which the counsellor facilitates the client to consider the aspects of their life they wish to change. The goal is that the client understands themselves and their issues better, to get clarity and to get in touch with and develop coping and strengths in order to put plans into action to change their situation. A counsellor will respect your viewpoint, while helping you to deal with specific problems, cope with crises, improve your relationships, or develop better ways of living. Counselling works through facilitating the client to cope better, not by advising or by providing answers, and not by directing a client. Sessions normally take place once a week. Making this regular commitment gives you a better chance of working through your difficulties to a solution.