What is counselling?

If something is getting you down, counselling can help you gain
a much clearer understanding of your emotions.

Counselling is, in its simplest form, a structured conversation between two or more people.

It encourages new ways of thinking and signposts resolutions to problems.

Your counsellor will listen and learn to understand and respect you as a person.

The trusting relationship that develops is non-judgmental and therefore allows a process of exploration to take place in a safe and secure environment.

Unlike other types of psychotherapy, counselling does not usually involve giving advice or getting the client to take a particular path to resolve his or her issues.

Counsellors do not judge or exploit their clients in any way, remaining neutral to the values and beliefs the client may hold.

This is often quite different to, say, cognitive behavioural therapy, where the therapist may challenge the currently-held beliefs if they appear to be damaging the client’s thinking process.

Clients explore various aspects of their life and feelings openly with the counsellor.

Feelings such as anger, anxiety, grief and embarrassment that may have been kept inside for many years can be expressed to the counsellor, who will reflect the client’s problems and listen to them without becoming burdened or polarised by them.

One of the key things in counselling, as with all forms of psychotherapy, is the relationship between the counsellor and the client.

This relationship develops over the counselling sessions, thereby increasing the trust between the counsellor and client, enabling the client to aspects of their life that may trouble them in ways which they may not have considered or been able to accept in the past.

In this way, the counsellor may help the client to consider new options open to them for dealing with issues and difficulties, and help them to decide the best way forward for them.

For more information on counselling within the NHS, visit their site at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/counselling/