What happens in counselling?
A specific issue or problem
Counselling focuses on a current difficulty, to help you make some progress towards resolving a specific issue or problem.
Focus on the present
Counselling focuses mainly on the present, but the past might also be considered if this is likely to offer some insight into resolving a current difficulty.
- Sessions are usually weekly and last 50 minutes
- The number of counselling sessions tends to vary from person to person, but generally this tends to be short-term work, in contrast to psychotherapy which tends involve a longer commitment of time
- It is expected that you will undertake self-development exercises each week to enhance the work explored in your counselling sessions
The benefits of counselling
Insight into a difficulty
Counselling uses a range of listening and responding skills to help you clarify the nature of a difficulty, by exploring all the different facets of the problem. Insight into your difficulty is then developed through the use of gentle guiding questions, to help you generate a new understanding of your problem.
Resolving an issue
Generating a new understanding of a difficulty allows for range of potential pathways to emerge, by which the problem could then be resolved. Counselling then allows you to explore and consider the best solution to resolving your problem.
Coming to terms with an issue
Counselling is not only about resolving a problem, it can also be used to help you come to terms with a difficult or painful life, or work event. In these situations counselling can provide gentle, supportive and empathic understanding, to allow you to come to terms with the difficulty in your own time.
Which models of counselling do you use?
I first developed expertise in using the Murray-Parkes model of grief and loss counselling, whilst working as a bereavement counsellor at the Royal London Hospital. Since then I have developed expertise in a range of counselling models including Egan's problem solving (person-centred) approach to counselling, and counselling models which draw on CBT, psychoanalytic and integrative approaches.
How might counselling be useful?
Below is a list of areas in which counselling can often be useful:
- Managing suicidal feelings
- Coming to terms with a loss or bereavement
- Coming to terms with a diagnosis
- Coping with a chronic illness
- Coming to terms with a relationship breakdown
- Managing life or work changes
- Smoking cessation
- Coping with prolonged stress
- Coping with work place politics
- Overcoming emotional blocks to developing assertiveness
- Challenging bullying & harassment behaviours at work
- Challenging sexism, racism or homophobia at work
- Deciding to whistle-blow at work
- Overcoming emotional blocks to decision making
- Coping with a redundancy
- Undertaking a career change
- Overcoming emotional blocks to problem solving
- Overcoming procrastination
- Identifying emotional learning for APL applications
More about Therapy
Return to the therapy page.