Counseling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment.
A counselor is trained to listen with empathy. They can help one deal with any negative thoughts and feelings one has. Psychological therapies include psychotherapy, narrative therapy, and relationship therapy, which could be between members of a family, a couple, or work colleagues.
How Counseling can help
Counseling aims to help you deal with and overcome issues that are causing emotional pain or making you feel uncomfortable.
It can provide a safe and regular space for you to talk and explore difficult feelings. The counselor is there to support you and respect your views. They won't usually give advice, but will help you find your own insights into and understanding of your problems.
Counseling 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
- develop a better understanding of other people's points of view
Counseling can often involve talking about difficult or painful feelings and, as you begin to face
them, you may feel worse in some ways. However, with the help and support of your therapist, you should gradually start to feel better.
In most cases, it takes a number of sessions before the counseling starts to make a difference, and a regular commitment is required to make the best use of the therapy.
What to expect from counseling
During your counseling sessions, you'll be encouraged to express your feelings and emotions. By
discussing your concerns with you, the counselor can help you gain a better understanding of
your feelings and thought processes, as well as identifying ways of finding your own solutions to problems.
It can be a great relief to share your worries and fears with someone who acknowledges your feelings and is able to help you reach a positive solution.
Counseling can take place:
- face to face
- individually or in a group
- over the phone
- by email
How long does counseling take?
Ideally, counseling is terminated when the problem that you pursued counseling for becomes more manageable or is resolved.