What is Counselling?

Counselling is used in many cultures with the primary aim of helping people to work through there problems or issues in an environment that is safe, non-judgemental and confidential.
There are many different counselling processes and interventions that a counsellor can use to assist their client’s to reach their therapeutic goals.

Generally when a person first enters the counselling environment the counsellor provides a space whereby information about the client can be gathered. During the initial session the counsellor is focused on building a trusting and safe counselling relationship. It is this relationship that provides for a client to feel comfortable and trusting enough to begin to share themselves. This relationship building is a continuous process throughout the counselling relationship.

In the subsequent sessions the counsellor will help the client to establish therapeutic goals, generally these goals are realistic and achievable for the client.

Once the client has established their therapeutic goals the counsellor will then proceed to introduced various techniques, methods and interventions to help the client achieve their goals.

One of the most common techniques a counsellor may use is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), which allows the client to explore their thoughts, behaviours and emotional responses in relation to their issues/problems. This technique can help the client to challenge their beliefs about their issues/problems and thus make changes needed to find resolution.

However there are many useful and wonderful techniques a counsellor can use and some of these include narrative therapy, which is fundamentally telling your story; art therapy, which is very helpful for those who find verbal expression difficult; role-play (drama), which allows the client to act out their issues/problems and create new possibilities through acting and social skills training which is predominately a modelling technique.

Time Frame – Generally a person will attend for 6 weeks, with weekly visits lasting for approximately 1 hour. After this if the client is achieving and maintaining their goals the weekly sessions may drop back to once for fortnight, then once per month, with a follow up after 3 months.

For Psychotherapy the process can last for up to 2 years.

A Counsellor’s goal is to helps their client’s achieve their desired goals and has developed the necessary insights, skills and strategies to continue to live the life they desire without the need to return to counselling.