What is Counselling?
Counselling is part of a wider group of talking therapies which have the aim of helping people come to terms with experiences they have had in their past, situations they are currently experiencing or emotions they are feeling.
Counselling allows people to discuss their experiences and feelings in a safe, confidential environment. Counselling can be very flexible as it comes in many varieties - face-to-face, individual, group, telephone or online.
There are many methods of counselling. These range from analytical, to humanistic, to art based therapies. During some of these, counsellors look at a person’s past and analyse their experiences. This analysis is used to help identify possible reasons for the way their life is being experienced today. Humanistic counselling encourages clients to explore and reflect on their current life experiences and consider their potential to make changes that impact on self-development and growth. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication. Within this context, art is not used as a diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing.
As a rule a trained Counsellor will not tell a client what to do, they will encourage a client to talk about what is bothering them and identify root causes and look at specific ways of thinking that could be impacting the experiences of the client.
Each client's experience will be different but counselling should ultimately be an empowering experience where clients have been able to look at the pieces of their lives and work out how some of the pieces fit together, identify where there are gaps, consider which gaps need to be filled and work out how to fill them.