What is counselling?
The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy state: 'Therapy is time set aside by you and the therapist to look at what has brought you to therapy. This might include talking about life events, (past and present), feelings, emotions, relationships, ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour. The therapist will do their best to help you to look at your issues, and to identify the right course of action for you, either to help you resolve your difficulties or help you find ways of coping.'
Most of us could use therapy at certain times in our lives. Low mood, anxiety or depression, arguing, anger, withdrawing are often a sign that we are stuck in unhelpful patterns. Even those we might normally turn to may not be able to help because they are too involved to see things clearly, they may try to fix us when we need to take control and fix ourselves or we may feel we cannot be free to speak totally honestly because we need to protect them. Importantly, counselling is also confidential. People come to offload, to gain perspective, to find out what they might need to change, to work together on how to do it and, importantly how to take care of themselves in future.
Literally anyone comes and finds the respect they deserve.
Why do people come?
how does counselling work?
Counselling is very person specific. It is not advice but offers you the space to find your own insights and tools to help you resolve your own issues with an unbisased, empathic person, who helps you find your own ways through, developing strength as you go along. Generally counselling takes time as patterns and situations have often developed over some time so it also takes time to look at them. It is a journey that takes joint commitment on the part of the client and the counsellor. This journey can aid clearer understanding of the way you see yourself and your relationships in the family, at work, in the world. This self-understanding can provide you with the ability to tackle not just the present but the future.
Does counselling Really work?
The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy state that 'current research evidence indicates that counselling can be an effective intervention for a range of presenting issues' and that 'many clients indicate a preference for counselling over antidepressant medication.'
Here is one person's view of her counselling:
'Everybody has thoughts and questions they don't dare ask themselves and in that room, for 50 minutes on a Wednesday morning, I was able to confront and answer them with no judgement from the person sitting opposite me.
Without realising it, each week I cried a little less and with each session it became easier for me to talk about what I had been repressing for so many years. In fact, at my last ever counselling session, I had nothing left to say after just 20 minutes.
I no longer felt the heavy burden of sadness that I had felt before. The counsellor asked me if there was anything else I wished to talk about in my life and for the first time I was able to answer with an honest "no".'