is a way of enabling choice or change. It’s also a way of reducing confusion. The counsellor will help you see things more clearly, possibly from a different perspective.
Although friends and family may be able to offer support during difficult times, some people find it very helpful to talk to a professional counsellor who is non-judgemental and not personally involved in the situation.
Counselling sessions provide a means of exploring what is blocking you from living your life more fully.
People are often confused about the difference between counselling and psychotherapy. One of the main differences is that counselling is usually short-term (6 or 12 sessions) while psychotherapy is longer term and often open-ended. Counselling involves exploring one or a few life issues that are currently affecting your life or something specific that troubles you and affects your present way of being.
Both counselling and psychotherapy offer a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment where you can explore your feelings, difficulties and distress or perhaps your dissatisfaction with life, or loss of a sense of direction and purpose. Sometimes in the exploration of these areas, one uncovers deeper seated issues that may need to be looked at before the presenting issue may be understood or resolved. In this case the counselling would turn into psychotherapy – as the “bigger picture” would be explored – not just a specific problem.
People might seek help from a counsellor or psychotherapist for many different reasons, such as
- they are suffering from stress related illnesses, anxiety, trauma and mood disorders
- they want to explore their relationship problems
- they are experiencing loss of meaning or direction in life
- they want to re-vision (review) their life and explore their life choices
- they just need some ‘time-out’ – time and space just for themselves where they can talk about their feelings and thoughts and make sense of their experiences
Counselling and psychotherapy offer an opportunity to explore these feelings, with the possibility of making them easier to understand. Counselling does not involve giving direct advice or directing you to take a particular course of action; instead it will help you examine and explore the behaviour or situations which are proving troublesome in your life. It would also encourage you to find an area where it would be possible to initiate some change as a start.