What is counselling and how can it help me?Counselling offers a therapeutic relationship that allows you the freedom to talk and explore your emotional wellbeing in a confidential and emotionally safe environment, without fear of judgment or burdening your family and friends with your problems. Sometimes, even if you have supportive friends and family you do not feel able to be completely open with them about how you feel, for any number of reasons.

The wonderful thing about counselling is that it can help different people in different ways. It is helpful if you identify what you want to gain from the counselling. You are in charge of the process and your willingness and openness to engaging are a crucial factor in the outcome and success of your counselling. My responsibility is to offer you an environment which promotes not only trust in me as your counsellor, but also trust in yourself as a person of value and worth. Often at the heart of most peoples’ emotional distress is a lack of trust and value in themselves, poor communication skills, and blocking what they are feeling emotionally. Counselling can help improve these. The process will be very different depending on your needs and these will be explored at the beginning of the counselling process.

You may not know exactly what you want from counselling but useful questions to ask yourself are:

    • What has happened to make me seek counselling now?

    • How am I feeling and how would I prefer to feel?

    • How am I behaving and how would I prefer to behave?

    • What do I want to be different in my life?

The most important thing to know about counselling is that it is not something that is done to you, it is something that you engage in. Only you can make the changes you want to make, but you don’t have to do it by yourself and often a supportive and therapeutic relationship can help you make changes and feel better.

What is involved in counselling?

Each counselling session is for one hour.

The number of sessions will vary depending on your needs, and will be decided by you. Research shows that an average number of sessions is six, but some will benefit from more, others won’t need that many. Sessions are often weekly or fortnightly, but it depends on your needs and preferences how you choose to space the sessions.

I will be very active in the process, but will not be leading it. You are the expert on you. I am the expert on providing a therapeutic environment for you to use.

The heart of a counselling session will involve me listening to you and responding to you with empathy, acceptance and a genuine caring therapeutic relationship. I also may offer psychoeducation, self-help options and techniques, options to work in an expressive way, suggestions and options for different ways of communicating and suggestions for between session activities. I will not be offering advice or any kind of diagnoses.