Friday, 27 November 2015

Some of the mysteries of counselling uncovered

We're often asked what counselling is all about and whether it's effective in helping people deal with the difficulties they may be having, so we thought we'd discuss some common issues in this blog post.

Counselling involves talking

You don't have to be a chatterbox to come for counselling, but the process does involve talking about the issues you are experiencing with a trained professional. Counselling provides a 'safe place' where you can talk openly without worrying what your friends, family or colleagues think about you or your thoughts. For that reason, it is important to work with someone you gel with and feel you can trust.

Choosing a therapist

There are different types of therapist who offer counselling and this can lead to confusion when trying to decide who to see. Counsellors, psychotherapists and counselling psychologists all offer counselling services and there are different counselling approaches to consider too. At First Psychology, we believe it's the therapeutic relationship between the practitioner and the client that is important. When thinking about counselling (or any type of therapy) always look at the information about each practitioner so you can pick who you think would work for you, or ask for assistance if you can't decide.

The counselling process

Often people worry about what will happen during their counselling session, particularly the first one. This is quite usual - it's an unknown process and is likely to bring up some uneasy feelings. You may wonder whether your problems are trivial compared to what your counsellor is used to working with. This is a very common worry. There is no such thing as a big problem or a small problem. What we look at is how you feel. If you feel the need to seek help, that's what matters most.

Sessions with a counsellor

When you come along for counselling, you will be greeted by your practitioner and taken into a private consulting room. At First Psychology's centres, the room will contain comfortable chairs where you can sit back and discuss the process and what you are hoping to get out of your sessions with your practitioner.  We like to add a few extra touches too, such as rugs, soft lighting and homely cushions to make the experience feel more relaxing. Usually counselling is a short-term process and typically lasts for between six and twelve sessions depending on the issues you are experiencing.

The typical counselling client

There's no such thing as a typical counselling client. We regularly consult with people of all ages - we work with  adults (16 upwards), adolescents (12-16) and children (under 12). We also work with couples and families. We know that people can experience issues and problems at any point in their lives no matter who they are or what they do for a living. Counselling can offer a place to verbalise problems and work through feelings and thoughts.

Does counselling work?

This is probably the most frequently asked question. There have been many research studies which have shown counselling to be an effective way of making things better. Some of the most common reasons people come for counselling include low mood, anxiety, panic, anger, behavioural issues, addictions, grief, eating distress, health concerns, and uncertainty for a number of reasons. However everyone's situation is unique and often it is a combination of different things that lead people to seek help.

Thinking of getting started?

If you're looking for a counselling professional, always check to see what their training and experience is before making an appointment. That way you can be sure your practitioner is fully trained and experienced, and you can relax and get the most out of the process.

If you'd like to talk through what counselling services we have available at First Psychology's centres, please do get in touch. We would be happy to discuss your options with you.

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