What Is Counselling?
Counselling is a type of 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, but counselling is also a specific type of therapy in its own right.
Other psychological therapies include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and relationship therapy (which could be between members of a family, a couple or work colleagues).
What Is Counselling Used For?
Talking therapies, such as counselling, can be used to treat many different health conditions including:
- Relationship difficulties at home or at work
- Loss and bereavement
- Weight Problems
- Social Phobias
- Confidence Issues
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of purpose and meaning
How Can Counselling Help?
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 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.
What To Expect From Counselling?
During your counselling sessions, you will be encouraged to express your feelings and emotions freely. By discussing your concerns with you, the counsellor can help you to gain a better understanding of your feelings and thought processes, as well as identifying ways of finding your own solutions to problems.
The counsellor may encourage you to identify issues and, if appropriate, take personal responsibility for them. They will be able to help you recognise the effects of other people and their actions, and explore alternative ways of coping with them.
It can be a great relief to share your worries and fears with someone who acknowledges your feelings and is able to help you reach a positive solution.