Counselling may also contain signposting: providing information about other services and sources of support. Supported healing may require collaboration between services, counsellors and GP or school, as well as additional tips for learning more about the challenges we may be facing.
Counselling can support recovery from trauma and other life challenges. It can support healing and improve your mental health. Counselling can also support your wellbeing, growth and resilience. Your counsellor may respectfully help you challenge your unhealthy thinking patterns and habits. They will witness and assist the changes you wish to introduce in your life.
Validation is the key to counselling work. We need to feel validated in a relationship with another human. This, of course, is not always the case in all our relationships, so your counsellor will aim to provide this experience for you.
A huge factor in the success of counselling is the quality of your relationship with your counsellor. Thus, you should feel safe, respected, understood and gradually more open to trusting the counselling process. In counselling, we call this “rapport building”.
Counselling is confidential and safe. Confidentiality means that whatever you share with your counsellor stays in the room. This may help you open up and explore your challenges without judgement or fear that the content of your session will be shared elsewhere.
The most commonly known counselling format is a series of weekly 50 – or 60 min long sessions. However, some counsellors offer fortnightly, monthly or one-off sessions too. You can ask for one session, a few sessions or ongoing counselling. Some counselling modalities, such as walking or couples therapy, may require longer, 1.5 hrs long sessions. Group therapy can also consist of longer sessions.
A trained counsellor will offer a specific approach to counselling. There is a wide range of counselling modalities and ways of working: talking, walking, movement (dance, drama), non-verbal (art, object therapies) and many more.
A trained professional provides counselling, so when you book a counselling session, you should check the counsellor’s professional qualifications, the amount and type of training they have received, and their professional accreditations. On average, a counsellor should have completed a year of a counselling certificate course, two years of a diploma at least, with additional MA courses and relevant CPD courses added to their portfolio. A counsellor can only offer the types of therapy they are trained for.
As we open our counselling practice this month, we invite you to explore what counselling is.
What is counselling? Oxford Dictionaries define counselling as “the provision of professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems”.