What Is Counselling
Counselling is when a counsellor has been asked to be seen by a client in a private and confidential setting. To explore any difficulties they have and help them to alleviate any distress, dissatisfaction, loss of direction or loss of motivation they may be experiencing.
By listening attentively and patiently the counsellor can begin to perceive the difficulties from the client's point of view and then help the client clarifying their situation and choices. Find their strengths, help them cope and help reduce any confusion to reach clearer self-understanding.
It does not involve giving advice or directing a client to take a particular course of action. Counsellors help you clarify your issues and you decide your way forwards. Counsellors do not judge, they are respectful and supportive of you as a person and do not exploit clients in any way. All the decisions are yours to make. It is a purposeful relationship in which one person helps others to help themselves.
You have a Right: To speak and be heard.
To your own opinion.
To defend yourself.
To your own personal philosophy or religious belief.
In the sessions clients often speak of and explore various aspects of their life and feelings, in a way that is rarely possible with friends or family. Bottled up feelings such as anger, anxiety, embarrassment and grief can become very intense and counselling offers an opportunity to explore them and make them easier to understand.
Counsellors encourage the expression of feelings and are trained to be able to accept and reflect the client's problems without becoming burdened by them themselves
The acceptance and respect shown to the client is essential to allow the trust and working relationship to develop, allowing the client to feel able to look at many aspects of their life, relationships and themselves which they may not have been able to face or even considered before.
We at Finding The Answer often use Gerard Egan’s three- stage model of counselling to help clients: Explore, Understand and Act.
The counsellor and client work together and establish a trusting relationship which enables clients to explore their feelings.
Client gain new insight into the feelings of the situations they explore. Discover new perspectives about themselves and their lives and see themselves in a new light. Clarify what was right and what was wrong in their lives and their role in each. Explore any “blind spots” and identify their strengths to help them move forwards to manage and improve their lives.
Counsellors assists the client in negotiating personal short term and long term achievable goals in a realistic time frame. Assist them in taking responsibility for themselves and their actions and achieve their chosen goals to make a better future.
Counsellor’s: Listen to you
Assist in self-understanding.
Accept you as you are.
Types Of Sessions
Normally clients attend counselling alone and a one to one counselling session with the counsellor develops between them.
However if a couple are having problems and wish to be seen together or even a troubled family, this can be done and is often very beneficial to all.
It must be understood however that members of families often do not wish to state or explore their inner feelings in front of other family members and so at times family members may be seen individually and as a family at other sessions. This allows trust to develop between family members and the counsellor and allows the counsellor to gain insight into the difficulties involved. Confidentiality between the counsellor and client is of the utmost importance and will be explained and mentioned at each counselling session as a reminder to the client.
How Long Do The Sessions Last And How Often Are They.
Each counselling session is normally an hour long, but at times under arrangement this may be extended to suit the clients needs and normally one session per week. The number of sessions will be discussed with you on the initial consultation and are dependent on the issues involved and your ability to help yourself.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often used to help clients make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller more manageable parts. Making it easier to see how they are connected and how they affect you. A difficult situation, problem or event has thoughts, emotions and physical feelings associated to it and the actions that were carried out due to these.
The therapy brings an awareness that each of these areas can affect the others. Your thoughts about a problem can affect how you feel physically and emotionally. CBT helps you identify and question any unrealistic negative thoughts patterns and beliefs and replace them with more positive alternatives. To improve how you feel and your outlook on life.
It is very useful and does normally require the client to do work between sessions such as: keeping a record of any difficult situations involving negative thoughts and emotions to talk over in the sessions and help identify and improve problem areas. CBT is one of the most effective treatments for when anxiety or depression is the main problem but like many therapies may not be suited to everyone.
For further information please visit the CBT Page.