Counselling is a form of talking therapy offered by a trained professional and provided in a safe and confidential setting. What you say to your counsellor is private; though there are some exceptions to this which your counsellor will explain.
A counsellor or psychotherapist will listen and support you in exploring your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours to help you get a better understanding of yourself and those around you.
Your counsellor will not offer opinions or advice; but will be more focussed on helping you to find your own solutions; this may be through offering ways of coping or making changes.
Sessions will be arranged over a regular period of time – often weekly and usually last for 50 minutes. These appointments can be offered face to face, online or by telephone.
Things we may talk about could include:
- Your feelings, emotions, and thoughts
- Your relationships
- Childhood experiences
- Your behaviours
- Current life events
A therapist will not be judgmental but will offer an objective viewpoint and will be supportive. Sometimes a counsellor will offer information which can also be helpful.
This may involve a deeper exploration of the problem that has brought you to seek help. The therapist may also take some contact details from you.
Most therapists have a written contract which they will invite you to read and sign prior to the start of the work; this will set out how you agree to work together; you can end therapy whenever you choose.
Getting the Most from Counselling:
It is helpful if you can be open about your feelings. It is also important to give your honest feedback about the therapy itself in terms of what has been helpful and what is less effective.
There also may be issues you want to work on between sessions and this can enhance your experience.
Counselling can provide you with better ways of coping with your feelings and this can positively impact your happiness and sense of wellbeing.
Choosing a Therapist
Many therapists offer an initial complimentary phone or video call so you can see how you feel speaking with them.
It is important that you feel a sense of connection and you feel as comfortable as possible.
Check the therapist’s areas of expertise and experience to ensure they can support you in the area you need.