For some, counselling is a useful weekly tool that helps them to express their feelings and align their thoughts. For others it is a support mechanism to help them manage a particular aspect of their mental health such as anxiety or depression.
Whatever brings someone into counselling, one thing is for sure, counselling offers a unique space form which your experiences and thoughts can be explored and listened to without judgement.
So, how can counselling help you? And how do you know when you need it? Let’s find out.
What is counselling?
Counselling is a long-established form of talking therapy. It is actually an umbrella term which covers a range of counselling modalities. Counselling is a therapeutic, or healing process where an individual meets with a trained professional who will work with you over a period of time to help you develop a better understanding of yourself and of others. Professional counselling is confidential and non-judgmental. Counsellors are impartial, which enables you to focus on your feelings, experiences or behaviour, without the fear of upsetting, overwhelming, or being judged.
Counselling above anything else is a process of understanding, insight, awareness and discovery. It is a process which aims to bring about positive change, helping you to overcome a feeling, issue, experience, behaviours or patterns. Counselling facilitates your growth and development toward living a more enriched and fulfilling life.
What counselling is not
Due to the individual and bespoke nature of counselling, it is often easier to say what counselling is not. Counselling is not:
– Telling you what to do, or giving advice.
– Prescribing medication – only a medical practitioner can do this.
– Being judgemental.
– Offering help with practical problems, such as financial or housing issues.
– Attempting to sort out the problems of the client for them.
Now this last one might seem counter-intuitive, but bear with me. We’ve all had the experience of someone telling us what to do when we broach them with a conundrum or difficulty. And inevitably it doesn’t stick. This is because it comes from outside of ourselves – it comes from the other person. My role as your counsellor is to help you find your own answers, not give you answers.
What are the different types of counselling?
There are many, many different types of counselling, it is a broad and developing field. It’s important to find a counsellor and a way of working you’re comfortable with so you can feel at ease discussing personal and emotional issues.
The list of counselling modalities would be too extensive to list in this blog, so I refer you to our Professional Body and their A-Z description of counselling modalities here – https://www.bacp.co.uk/about-therapy/types-of-therapy/
I offer psychodynamic counselling, which is an in-depth form of talking therapy derived from psychoanalysis. In psychodynamic counselling we focus on building insight into relationships with yourself, with others, and with the external world. We explore unconscious motivations, early life experiences and patterns in relationships. We think about your past and how this might be influencing your present experiences. By understanding these links between past and present, and identifying patterns and bringing awareness to unconscious aspects of yourself you can make better sense of your current experience and find new ways of perceiving yourself, your relationships, and the world around you. For more information on psychodynamic counselling, and how I work, please see here, or get in touch with me – I welcome any questions as you start exploring this further.
How can counselling help me?
Counselling can help you with many different things, depending on what you want and need from it.
It can be a place to help bring about positive change such as choosing a new direction in life, or reaching your full potential. It can also be a place for growth and development – by bringing new awareness and self-understanding to yourself and your relationships.
Counselling offers support for emotional difficulties, previous experiences and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. It aims to help you deal with, or overcome, issues that are causing you distress or making you uncomfortable.
Counselling can help you:
– cope with a bereavement or relationship breakdown
– cope with redundancy or work-related stress
– explore issues such as sexual identity
– deal with issues preventing you achieving your ambitions
– deal with feelings of depression or sadness, and have a more positive outlook on life
– deal with feelings of anxiety, helping you worry less about things
– understand yourself and your problems better
– feel more confident
Counselling is not a quick fix. It is a journey taken by two people in a supportive environment, a collaboration between two minds who work together to open doors and close others. It provides tools to help you cope with life, empowering you to move on stronger and with the power of self knowledge – a skill that can help influence all your future decisions for the better.
If counselling is something you are interested in exploring, why not get in touch today so we can discuss your options.