Counselling is a talking therapy. Taking that first step to decide that you might like to meet with a counsellor can be anxiety-provoking and difficult. If you feel that you need support in deciding whether counselling is right for you, or what type of support you might need, a short phone-call or email might help to put your mind at ease. See the contact page for more details.
When you meet with a counsellor, you might discuss your thoughts and feelings, potential difficulties you may be experiencing or traumatic experiences. People often decide to enter counselling in order to address some of the following:
- Domestic Abuse or Abusive relationships
- Sexual Assault
- Traumatic experiences
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Suicidal thoughts
- Relationship problems
- Family problems
- Eating disorders
- Cultural, Gender or Sexual Identity
- Physical or Health Conditions e.g. Infertility
This list is non-exhaustive, and only you will know if there is something you wish to explore in counselling. It can be a challenging process, yet it is often extremely rewarding. It can produce life-changing results.
How does it work?
The therapeutic process and how it is experienced is different for everyone. Establishing a positive relationship with a counsellor, and having a place where you can share your thoughts and feelings with someone with a sensitive and trained ear, can often be experienced as therapeutic. You will be listened to and supported with compassion and understanding, and without criticism or judgement. Your individual needs are placed at the heart of the therapeutic relationship, so that you and your counsellor work together in the way that is right for you. Together, you can create a safe space to explore and make sense of potentially some of your most difficult thoughts, feelings and experiences.
Your first session will be an introductory session, to help both you and the therapist to understand your needs and the best way to support you. After this session, you will then either be offered counselling sessions, which last 50 minutes each, or if it is felt that you require a different form of support, you may be referred to another counsellor or agency.
When you initially contract with a counsellor, you may be offered a single session, a short-term number of sessions taking place over a few weeks or months, or longer-term courses of counselling lasting for several months or even years. However, this is subject to review. For example, if you are offered 10 sessions in the short-term, but you feel that you need more as these sessions near their end, you may re-contract for further sessions if appropriate.
What Counselling can provide:
A safe and confidential space to explore potentially difficult, traumatic or painful emotions or experiences
A relationship in which you can be honest and open without the need for fear of judgement or consequence
A relationship in which you have your voice heard
Emotional and psychological support
The space to explore and understand your past, your 'self' and your relationships
A unique therapeutic relationship where you can expect empathy, trust, confidentiality and no judgement
Support in coming to terms with distressing or traumatic events
Changing negative thinking patterns and self-limiting beliefs
Assessing your current reality and working towards the future you wish to achieve
Positive thinking and behavioural techniques
Your time, your agenda: the freedom to talk about anything you wish to bring
What Counselling is not:
An advice service
A form of teaching or lecturing
A crisis service or helpline
A quick-fix solution