Who has Counselling?
As the many benefits of counselling have gained growing recognition, it has become both more acceptable and more accessible to all.
I have worked with both male and female clients from
teenagers to retirees, presenting with a wide range of issues and desired
outcomes (see my ‘Issues I Work With’ page for more information).
Why do people come to Counselling?
People seek counselling for many reasons… to deal with a specific life event or situation; to improve relationships; to heal past hurts or trauma; to change patterns of behavior; to better manage a mental or physical health condition…
Sometimes people are referred by their Doctor for support with managing a diagnosed condition; sometimes people come to tackle very specific issues; and sometimes people just feel unhappy but don’t really know why, they may have a feeling of not living the right life or of not surviving the one they have found themselves in.
Also increasing numbers of people are looking for a greater sense of self in an ever changing and faster paced world, and many people now come to counselling to get to know themselves and to grow and develop personally and spiritually… counselling is very empowering.
What is the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?
This is a much debated question, but in short they are simply different branches of the same tree (see my ‘Counselling Approaches’ page for more information). Broadly speaking general counselling focusses more on immediate (here and now) issues, whilst psychotherapy focusses more on structure of the self and ingrained behaviours/patterns. Many counsellors, myself included, are integrative trained meaning we can draw from different counselling approaches and tailor our work to meet the individual needs and preferred ways of working for our clients.
What happens in Counselling sessions?
Initially you will be invited for an assessment. This is a chance for you and your potential counsellor to find out more about each other and see if you would like to work together.
Some assessments will be more in-depth than others, but you will generally be asked for contact details, a brief overview of your current health and medical history and further details on what has brought you to counselling. The counsellor will in turn provide you with more information about how they work and what they can offer.
An assessment does not commit you to entering into a counselling relationship.
Counselling sessions offer a safe and boundaried space where you can discuss or express anything you choose, every part of you - every thought, feeling and emotion - is welcome within this space.
Counselling is a process and so each session is a little different, but the client will normally set the agenda and pace for the work.
In sessions you will be encouraged and supported to talk, to explore thoughts and feelings, to express emotions, to challenge your beliefs about yourself and the world, to learn new skills and coping techniques, to celebrate successes, and most of all to reconnect with your own strength and wisdom.
However counselling is not all talk, some clients find it preferable to express themselves creatively and this too is always welcome!
How long does Counselling last?
Counselling can be a short-term or long-term process. For clients wishing to tackle a specific issue short-term solution focussed counselling is usually sufficient (anything from 2 to 10 sessions). For clients with historic or multiple issues, or those wanting to change long-term patterns, long-term therapeutic counselling/psychotherapy will be more appropriate (10 weeks plus).
Your counsellor should review this with you on a regular basis, to ensure you are getting what you need from sessions and that you are happy with the pace. You can choose to postpone or end counselling at any time.