What is Counselling?
Counselling is designed to help you speak about your thoughts and feelings and give you a safe space to work through any problems that you might be facing in your life. A counsellor will help you come to terms with any problems you are facing, with the aim of working with you to identify ways of overcoming them.
Counselling is a talking therapy, and allows people to discuss their problems and any difficult feelings they encounter in a safe, confidential environment. It is something people seek when they want to change something in their lives, or simply explore their thoughts and feelings in more depth with the aim of increased mental health and wellbeing.
A counsellor’s role is to encourage you to talk about what’s been causing you distress or discomfort, they are trained to be compassionate listeners who can empathise with your situation in a non judgemental way. They are there to help uncover any root causes and understand how you think and guide you to reach your own conclusions without giving you advice on what to do. They then will help create a plan of action to help you either reconcile your issues or find new ways of coping being truly respectful to your beliefs, values and ways of living. Each session is tailored to your specific needs and you work at your own pace.
Most counselling is face to face, however this may not be suitable for some clients so it can be conducted over the phone or via video call. You can choose whichever set up you feel most comfortable with. Each session lasts 50 minutes and is typically conducted on a weekly basis to begin with.
If you’re thinking about seeking counselling, it’s really normal to feel a bit anxious about it. After all, opening up is a big step and if you’ve never spoken to a counsellor before, (basically someone you’ve not even met before), the idea might seem a little strange and perhaps event a little daunting. That’s ok, these are normal thoughts and feelings – many people report feeling this way. The role of the counsellor is to put you at ease, make you feel welcome and comfortable, and allow you to talk freely about whatever is on your mind.
Selecting a Counsellor
Counsellors must subscribe to an accredited register to ensure that the services they provide are of the highest standard, and meet specific ethical and clinical requirements of that register to practice safely and ethically.
When selecting a counsellor must check that they are part of an accredited register such as the National Counselling Society, which is recognised for its strictly high standards and was one of the first organisations to gain Accredited Register status with the Professional Standards Authority which is . This means that when clients choose a counsellor from an Accredited Register, they have the assurance that the counsellor has met the high standards required to be listed on the register and has been trained to rigorous standards set out by the society and adhere to the strict code of conduct and ethics as part of in how they practice.