What is Counselling?
A counsellor will not judge, criticise or tell you what to do, but will help you explore your feelings, thoughts and personal experiences to help you move forward. It's a process which requires a joint commitment to change and improved well-being.
Counsellors understand that it's not always easy to talk about what may be happening for you, or to express or even get in touch with your feelings, but they will support you and help you work through it. A competent counsellor will always accept and value you for who you are, without judgement. They will help you to get in touch with your inner resources and strength, enabling you manage life more effectively, and facilitate your own personal change, growth and healing.
For more information on Couples and Relationship Counselling, please click on the link here.
Types of Therapy
Focusing on cognitions and behaviours, ie CBT.
Psychoanalytical and Psychodynamic Therapies:
Focusing on the unconscious relationship patterns that have evolved from childhood.
Focusing on self-development in the 'here and now'.
Using creative arts within the therapeutic process.
Counsellors are required to have regular and on-going supervision, in line with the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) code of ethics. Supervision is a valuable resource for gaining new perspectives on work with clients, as well as personal and professional support. Regular reviewing and monitoring of a therapist's work is essential for maintaining good practice. Members of the BACP adhere to an Ethical Framework and the professional conduct procedure within it, this can be found on the BACP website.
Is counselling confidential?
Counselling is confidential, however, aside from necessary disclosure during supervision, there are circumstances where confidentiality must be breached, for example, if a client is at serious risk of harm to themselves or to others, the counsellor will have to take action, and a GP or other appropriate referral may be necessary, although they will talk this through with you first.
How long does it last?
The length of counselling can depend on the style or approach of the counsellor and you, the individual. Short term therapy is usually six to eight weeks, whilst long term therapy can be open-ended. Longer term counselling tends to deal with more deep-seated personal issues which may bring about really profound changes and healing. Both long and short term counselling have value. Each individual counselling session lasts for 50 minutes and will usually be in the same place, at the same time each week.
What will happen in my first session?
Your intial session will be for you to gain an understanding of how your counsellor works and to gauge whether you feel comfortable talking to them. You will be invited to express what has brought you to counselling now and this will ‘open the door’ for you to think about what is happening for you.
You can begin wherever you like, safe in the knowledge that a qualified, experienced counsellor will be able to hold and contain anything you have to bring to the session. It’s also important, at this stage, to establish boundaries, for you both to confirm availability for sessions, planned holidays and establish sessions going forward.