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What is counselling?

“Counselling is not advising, gossiping or argument about anything. That’s friendship. Counselling is unbiased support” Sandra M Dean

Counselling occurs when a person (client) seeks the help of another (counsellor) and engages in private conversations with them in order to resolve issues in their life. A therapeutic relationship is key where the client feels at ease to share their problems with the counsellor and the counsellor listens, seeks to understand the problems from the client’s point of view (empathy) and gives them the space to explore their feelings, thoughts and behaviours. Important within this relationship is that the client is active and ready to engage with the counsellor in sessions. If they are not, then counselling does not occur. It is not about having a ‘chat’, it is about exploring issues, looking at thought processes, and a desire to change negative patterns.
Rochester dec 2014I feel that if a person really wants to change their negative thoughts, feelings and actions regarding an issue in their life, that a talking therapy such as counselling, is one of the best opportunities the person will have. This relies on the therapeutic relationship forming, and a feeling of trust and confidentiality being experienced by the client. Counselling can help with many issues, including finding a path to a life worth living for the client.
Some clients need little more than someone to talk to; to bounce their ideas off, to be listened to intently, to be understood and accepted for who they are. Merely talking and having their words said back to them via paraphrasing, could be enough, as the client resolves their own issues. This could lead to short term counselling requirements.
Other clients need a lot more. They may take much longer to soak up their realities.