Counselling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings with someone who is trained to listen with empathy. Both psychotherapy and counselling are terms that are used to describe the same process. Both terms relate to overcoming personal difficulties and working towards positive changes.
Is counselling right for me?
Seeking counselling is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition, loss and/or bereavement. Many people consider consulting a counsellor as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a counsellor can help provide insight, support and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Counselling can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management and general life transitions. Counselling is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
What can I expect in a counselling session?
Every counselling session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. During counselling sessions it is standard to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts 50 minutes. Sometimes individuals who are going through a particularly difficult challenge may request more than one session per week. Counselling can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the counselling session, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain thoughts and behaviours. Between sessions is important, the therapy process will continue and you will be asked to make note of new insights and learning and to bring them to the next session for discussion this aides the process of integration into your life, relationships etc. For counselling to be most effective you must be an active participate, both during and between the sessions.
What benefits can I expect from working with a counsellor?
Counselling can provide insight and new perspectives into life's challenges and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a counsellor can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics, and can ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful. Overall, people in counselling tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict, and improved quality of life.
- Some of the benefits available from counselling include:
- Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
- Modifying unhealthy behaviour and long-standing problems
- Attaining insight into personal patterns and behaviour
- Increasing confidence and general well-being
- Improving ways to manager, anger, depression and moods
- Discovering new ways to solve problem
- Navigating life's obstacles more effectively
- Improving listening and communication skills
- Enhancing the overall quality of life
Is counselling confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a counsellor. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or Dependant adult or elder abuse. The counsellor is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.