What Is Counselling?
Counselling is a process, across a series of sessions, each normally of one hour, in which you and your counsellor establish a trusting relationship, which permits you to discuss your fears, concerns, anxieties or desires. The counsellor uses professionally trained capabilities to listen intently to you in order to understand your experience accurately, and to empathise with you, in a confidential, honest and non-judgemental way. The counsellor can often reflect back to you knowledge about yourself of which you may have been unaware, and can give you insights into your relationships with others. This can be powerful in giving you the self-knowledge you need to improve your life in the way you wish. The counsellor can enable you to work to solve your difficulties, in your own way, and at your own pace.
What Happens During Counselling?
You and your counsellor sit together in a private room offering confidentiality and a safe space for reflection and inspiration. Counselling is often called “The Talking Therapy”, because most of the interaction is simply conversation between you. This gives you the opportunity to explore your thoughts and feelings. The way the counsellor works depends on his or her theoretical orientation. The counsellor is trained to be able to listen very accurately and to notice your body language and other non-verbal clues to what is going on for you. Often, the counsellor can tell you things about yourself that you haven’t realised before. This is not done by magic, or guesswork, but simply by noticing what is said and done in a way we rarely notice in ourselves.
In practical terms, you and your counsellor will contract verbally, towards the end of the first session (having checked you feel comfortable with that counsellor), for the work to be done towards the change you desire; for the initial number of sessions to be agreed; for the agreed duration, date and time of each session; for the level of boundaried confidentiality to be guaranteed; for the fees to be paid; and for the information you are willing for the counsellor to hold and the way it will be held.
You are always ‘in charge’ of the relationship, both in the number of sessions accepted and in the content you choose to bring to each session. The counsellor respects your autonomy, mainly because he or she knows you cannot enjoy beneficial change unless you truly desire it, and you are determined to work hard to achieve it. In the counselling room the only expert on you is you!
Can Counselling Help Me?
There is never a guarantee that counselling can help everyone. However, many people are helped by counsellors and psychotherapists (an alternative name for counsellors now in common use) every year. A counsellor cannot solve a problem, i.e. ‘fix things’ for you, but he or she can act as a catalyst for change; be a safe and dependable support to help you bear adversity; help you to understand what is really going on in your life, relationships and work; desensitise you from the present-day disturbing effects of past trauma; encourage you to find the courage to be different; and, where no solution may be possible, to offer you the opportunity for acceptance of the way things must be.
Counsellors can often help you to see what is really going on in your key relationships in a way you may have been unable to do from inside those relationships. Talking to someone else, in confidence, can help you discover the meaning to your life; help you make vital but difficult choices; help you be the person you truly want to be - the person you feel you are inside - especially when others seem to want you to be someone else; help you value yourself more; and help you find the strength to do what must be done, however hard it seems.
No magic. No smoke and mirrors. Just you and your counsellor - two real people - working authentically and cooperatively together, to help you improve your life, your relationships, your self-esteem, your fulfilment and your happiness.
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I am a counsellor and psychotherapist offering counselling & psychotherapy in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire.
Serving Ascot, Ash, Binfield, Blackwater, Bracknell, Camberley, Chobham, Crowthorne, Egham, Elstead, Eton, Farnborough, Fleet, Frimley, Hartley Wintney, Lightwater, Odiham, Sandhurst, Staines, Sunningdale, Sunninghill, Twyford, Winkfield, Woking, Wokingham, Woodley and Yateley, and working with anxiety, anger, bereavement, depression, despair, stress, workplace problems, panic attacks, grief, relationships, sex, sexual problems, rape, bullying, stress, trauma, abuse, drugs, alcohol, hiv, anger management, living with dementia, diversity, and many other issues, by offering person-centred, humanistic, gestalt, ta, existential, EMDR and sensorimotor approaches for adult individuals and couples. Other words to help you find me online: hampshire, surrey, berkshire, psychotherapy, psychotherapist, psychotherapists, therapy, therapist, therapists, counselling, counsellor, counsellors, couple, couples, partners, marriage, marital, relationship, relationships, eap, emdr and common misspellings such as counselor, counselors, counselling, edmr, edrm and erdm