What is Counselling?
Counselling is a collaborative effort between the counsellor and client. Professional counsellors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional turmoil; seek to improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behaviour change and optimal mental health.
Therapy provides a safe and confidential space for you to talk to about your issues and concerns. Your therapist will help you explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours so you can develop a better understanding of yourself and of others.
A counsellor will not give you their opinions or advice or prescribe medication. They will help you find your own solutions – whether that’s making effective changes in your life or finding ways of coping with your problems.
Counselling can take different forms depending on your needs and what type of therapy may be suitable.
Most therapy takes place in planned, regular sessions which last for around 50 minutes. How often you see your therapist and how many appointments you have will depend on your individual circumstances, and will be agreed upon between you and your therapist.
During a session, your therapist may take you through specific exercises designed to help with your problem, or you might have more general discussions about how you’re feeling. What you talk about will vary depending on what you want help with and the therapist’s approach. It could include:
Your therapist will be impartial but understanding. They will listen to you without judgment and help you explore your thoughts and emotions. They may offer information, but they won’t tell you what you should think or do.
How long does counselling take?
Ideally, counselling is terminated when the problem that you pursued counseling for becomes more manageable or is resolved.
Sessions last for 50 minutes and are on a weekly basis initially.
Sarah is a student member of APCP and currently studying a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Integrative Modalities). As part of her course, she must complete placement and this is the service she currently offers. She undergoes regular supervision as part of her training and sessions.