Counselling is an umbrella term for talking therapies. In counselling, you are provided with a safe and supportive environment to share what is troubling you and someone to listen to you in a way that helps you understand yourself better.
The aim of counselling is to help you find more effective and satisfying ways of living your life.
Counselling is not like talking to a friend. It is far more effective, giving you a fresh perspective, helping you find your own understanding of what you are dealing with, and teaching you coping strategies. And it’s often easier to talk to a professional than a friend or family member, as your counsellor is not personally involved in your situation, can offer impartial empathy and compassion, and will not take what you say personally.
The main types of therapy are:
– Cognitive and behavioural therapy – Humanistic-centered therapy – Integrative counselling (various and blended approaches)
Any person who is willing to accept help to look at themselves and their issues honestly and attentively can benefit from counselling.
You may go to counselling because you are distressed and seeking help with a specific problem, but you do not have to be in crisis to attend counselling sessions. Counselling is also very useful to simply gain greater confidence and move forward with your life more effectively.
Of course, you must be willing to put in time and commitment when you attend counselling sessions, and understand that although it can be very rewarding, change is not always easy.
Counselling can help you deal with any of a wide spectrum of issues, from day-to-day worries and stresses, to distressing and traumatic events such as:
– the loss of a loved one – a relationship breakdown – long-term psychological challenges, like depression and anxiety – traumatic events
Counselling isn’t just for your private life. It can also help you with aspects of your career, such as:
– dealing with workplace stress – increasing your confidence – finding a better work-life balance – making better decisions
The relationship between you and your counsellor is one of the most important factors in the effectiveness of your counselling sessions. The aim is to build a relationship based on trust with your counsellor and feel able to confide in them when it comes to your feelings and emotions.
In the UK, there are two types of therapists who can offer counselling
Counsellor: A counsellor has specific training in
counselling theory and skills (a three or four-year program in the UK) as well
as clinical experience of face-to-face counselling. Counsellors typically
conduct short and medium-term work with clients.
Counselling or Clinical Psychologist: A counselling psychologist has similar training to a counsellor or psychotherapist, but additionally, they hold a degree in psychology, giving them scientific knowledge of the human mind and behaviour. The term ‘counselling psychologist’ is a legally protected term in the UK. In order to practice as such the therapist needs to be registered with Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).