What is counselling? What can I expect?
Counselling/psychotherapy is a process where you have an opportunity to talk to someone who is professionally trained to listen attentively and with empathy about your struggles. It is carried out in a confidential, safe and non-judgemental environment. Usually you talk about anything that is on your mind and anything can be a suitable subject for discussion in the consulting room. The aim of a counsellor is to facilitate the exploration of the troubles and issues brought by you in such a way which allows you, the client to get a greater understanding of your struggles. Provide an opportunity to try things in a new way in a safe and confidential environment, increasing the capacity of choice which can further lead to growth and change.
Counselling involves a working contract where we agree to meet weekly, on an ongoing basis. It is an important contract and forms the basis of the counselling.
The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) provide a helpful explanation of counselling and what you can expect. If you want to find out more just click here.
Why get counselling? Is my problem big enough?
Usually people feel unsure about whether they need counselling. In my experience, I find people struggle to ask for help and question if their problems are significant enough in comparison with others.
People commonly think that in order to seek counselling you must be going through crisis or through a major life event. This may be true for some people but in reality most people come for counselling for a range of common issues such as depression, stress, anxiety, relationship problems, family problems, lack of self-confidence or a general sense of dissatisfaction with life.
Whatever your problem, dilemma or issue is, it deserves attention, consideration and understanding.
For how long will I need counselling?
The number of sessions that you can have are not fixed. It depends entirely on your issues, your situation and the type of changes that you want to make in your life.
Some people may decide to use counselling to support them in their daily life. It can encourage reflection and learning from life experiences, family dynamics and relationships. Others, come into counselling with a clear goal and leave once they feel that their goal has been met.
Whether you come for counselling because of a major life event, with a specified goal or as a support for personal reflection, learning, change and growth, the counselling process takes time. It moves according to your own pace.
I am experienced in working long term with individuals, which can be for a number of years. Equally, I work short term (6-10 sessions) for more focussed work.
How many sessions you want to have is entirely up to you.