What is Counselling?
When we talk about counselling we are referring to an umbrella term for talking therapies. In counselling you are provided with a safe and supportive environment where the counsellor will help you explore the problems you are experiencing. Within this supportive environment you may want to bring a specific problem that is bothering you at that time. The counsellor can help you resolve conflicts in your life or simply help you gain greater self-confidence. In the sessions you can look at problems from different perspectives and learn the necessary strategies to help you work through problems.
The relationship between the counsellor and the client is paramount in the effectiveness of counselling, you must be able to build a relationship based on trust with your counsellor and feel able to confide in them. The counsellor is trained to listen patiently to your problem at your pace. Your counsellor will create a space where you feel supported enough to share your problems and in turn facilitate positive change. Counselling is not about telling you what to do but helping you explore your feelings and enabling choice.
Generally there are two types of therapists who can offer counselling services a Counsellor and Counselling Psychologist. Currently in City Counselling and Psychotherapy we have several counsellors who have specific training in counselling theory and skills as well as clinical experience of face to face counselling. Counsellors usually conduct short and medium term work.
What does Counselling look like in practice?
There are different types of counselling; City Counselling and Psychotherapy offers the following services:
Individual counselling (one to one), Couples counselling, Group counselling, Email/Internet (Skype) counselling, and Telephone counselling.
Counselling may be offered in a single session or over an agreed period of weeks or months. The sessions do not usually take any particular form or structure however there are some therapist (particularly CBT counsellors) who may set an agenda for each session and will review progress with you at regular intervals. The counsellor provides opportunities to discuss your progress and the direction you wish to pursue. See FAQ’s for information around initial meeting.
In the course of the initial meeting, the counsellor supports and encourages you to express your emotions and feelings and to explore the problem you are facing. Some counsellors may also set you work to do or things to think about for the next session.
Counselling is a very personal process and it is important to acknowledge that there will be times during your session where it is necessary to talk about painful feelings. However, whatever you say in the counselling session is confidential (subject to legal and ethical exceptions) and counsellors will offer guidance and support to help you through this process.