Counselling is a ‘talking therapy’, allowing people to discuss, in a confidential environment, any problems or difficult feelings they are encountering. People seek counselling when they want to explore their thoughts and feelings in more depth or change something in their lives.
The role of a counsellor is to encourage you to talk about issues that are worrying you in order to uncover any root causes and identify your specific ways of thinking. They will not tell you what to do to resolve your concerns – instead they will help you to create a plan of action to either move towards reconciling your issues or help you to find new ways of coping.
Why Consult a Counsellor?
People may prefer to speak to a counsellor, rather than friends or family, because sometimes they feel reluctant to broach some personal issues, or they may simply wish to speak to a professional with an objective viewpoint.
Common subjects that can be addressed within counselling include the following:
A physical addiction to a substance or activity is likely to be accompanied by a psychological addiction. Counselling can help relieve the psychological addiction by exploring the root cause and helping to develop new ways of thinking.
The loss of a loved one is a difficult event in anyone’s life and it can result in a wide range of emotions including guilt and anger. Many people benefit from speaking openly to a counsellor about their feelings to help ease the progression through their grief and resolve any remaining issues they may have.
Counselling can offer victims of bullying the chance to seek help from authorities (if appropriate) as well as addressing, in a safe environment, the psychological effects on them of the abuse.
Counselling can help sufferers come to terms with their long term illness, such as cancer or dementia, and provide emotional support and coping mechanisms.
Mental Health Issues
Counselling helps the sufferer to discuss the feelings that arise in conjunction with mental health issues, including depression and schizophrenia, as well as overcome any personal challenges or frustrations.
Relationship issues, within families, friendships and couples, can be explored through counselling including problems ranging from a poor relationship with a parent through to an abusive relationship.
In a counselling session trauma victims, whether of an accident or of abuse, are encouraged to explore their feelings and how these could be resolved or changed.
Anxiety & Low Self-Esteem
Counselling can offer practical advice for overcoming feelings of stress, anxiety and low self-esteem as well as allowing you the space to express your frustrations and feelings.
What Counselling Offers
The decision to get help and address the issues you are facing is an important first step and one that you can make in the secure knowledge that all sessions with your counsellor are entirely confidential.
In your first session your counsellor will ask you questions in order to gain an understanding of what’s worrying you and how you are thinking about your issues. This will help the process of exploration in future sessions.
Some questions your counsellor may ask include:
- Why are you seeking counselling and what do you seek to gain?
- What is your current situation and personal history? This includes any day-to-day issues you are facing including in your work and home life.
- What are the symptoms are you experiencing? – these may be physical or psychological but discussing them is an important step on the road to resolution.
Your counsellor should establish some clear boundaries when you begin your sessions that cover the following:
- counselling sessions dates and times
- confidentiality agreement
- clarification of the professional nature of the counsellor/client relationship
- how and when the counsellor can be contacted outside of sessions.
The Ongoing Counselling Process
Counselling can involve you in discussing painful emotions and memories. Inducing these thoughts can feel difficult initially, and to start with you may feel worse, but as you move forward and with time, you should start to feel better.
To get the most out of your counselling:
- Aim to make your counselling sessions consistent
- Remember that counselling is not a quick fix
- Remember that your counsellor will not be able to tell you what to do but help you come to personal resolutions so that you can feel more able to cope with issues you are facing
The counselling process requires a strong relationship between you and your counsellor with effort on both parts. Together you can create a successful way forward to help you resolve your issues.
Contact Fiona with any other questions you may have about counselling or to arrange an initial consultation.