Questions about Counselling
What is Counselling?
Counselling is a therapeutic relationship between a counsellor and client. The counsellor offers a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space to enable clients to freely explore their thoughts and feelings in regard to various aspects of their lives, with which they may be dissatisfied or distressed about and which may be difficult to talk about to family and friends. Throughout the counselling process, clients are helped to identify problem situations or concerns which can help them make sense of what is going on in their lives, with the aim of finding their own way of handling situations better and managing their lives more effectively. The relationship between the counsellor and client is an essential part of the process, as it can help clients gain self-respect and self-worth by having their feelings, and thereby themselves as individuals, accepted and respected.
Counselling can be helpful for many different issues including:
- Anxiety or stress
- Dealing with changes in circumstances
- Relationship difficulties
- Coming to terms with loss or bereavement
- Problems with self-esteem
- Work related issues
My approach is integrative but underpinned by a person-centred perspective. I believe each of us has the capacity to grow and develop and find our own inner resources to help us cope with life’s challenges. Sometimes these challenges can feel too much to manage on our own and it can be difficult to share these struggles with those close to us.
Carl Rogers, who developed Person Centred Therapy in the 1940s, said “It is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried”. I am not the expert in your life and I don’t have the answers to your problems or difficulties, but I believe the answers, if there are any, lie within you. I believe that you are the only expert in your own life and the only person who really knows how you feel. I see my task as helping you express what’s on your mind to enable you to see things more clearly and gain a better understanding of who you are and what choices or changes, if any, you may wish to make.
I believe the relationship between us is an important element to help facilitate this growth. I endeavour to create a warm, genuine and accepting relationship within a safe, secure space where you can feel free to explore thoughts and feelings without fear of being judged. I believe that we need to own and value all our feelings, even the most uncomfortable ones, and to be able to say how we feel and to insist on being heard and understood. My aim is for you to experience that with me so that you feel able to deal more effectively with the feelings that are troubling you.
Our First Meeting
Finding the right counsellor is an important step in the counselling journey. I offer a free initial meeting of approximately 30-45 minutes to see what you are hoping to get from counselling and if I'm the right person to help. This is a two way street and it is up to both of us to decide if we are a good fit to work together. If we are happy to do so then there is a bit of paperwork to do before putting a date in the diary for our first session.
How long does counselling last?
A session lasts for an hour at a day and time suitable to us both. The frequency of sessions will be agreed between us, but usually they are initially on a weekly or fortnightly basis. I am happy to work on a short term or long term basis, depending on your individual needs. The ending is therefore open and the situation is reviewed on a regular basis to see how things are progressing so that you can cease counselling when you feel ready.