Counselling is a basically a working relationship in which the client is helped to explore their feelings. It isn't about the counsellor giving advice or telling you what to do. There are various different types of counselling; some approaches involve looking at past relationships and experiences to make sense of them, while others involve looking at the 'here and now'.
To put it in very simple terms, counselling involves talking to someone who is trained to listen. But in reality there is much more to it than that. It's hard to put into words, but there are some essential ingredients that are necessary to create a safe and effective environment in which the counselling can take place. These ingredients include acceptance, genuineness and the counsellor being non-judgemental.
These basic requirements are known as the 'core conditions' of the Person Centred approach; a type of counselling that was developed by Carl Rogers. Rogers believed that the client, rather than the counsellor, is the expert. Therefore the client has the power within themselves to find the way forward. The counsellor provides a safe relationship in which the client can rediscover the power and knowledge they already have within themselves.
In some ways the counselling process is like a journey. The counsellor accompanies the client on this journey, and by the end of counselling, the client will usually feel empowered and able to continue on the next stage of their journey without their counsellor.
My personal philosophy and approach is largely Person Centred. I like the fact that this approach allows clients to move at their own pace and I agree that all of us are unique, and have the strength and knowledge we need to be able to move on and make positive changes in our lives.
I also strongly agree with the Person Centred belief that the relationship between the counsellor and their client is extremely important and that the quality of the relationship is likely to influence how successful the therapy is. Therefore I do my best to make sure that my clients feel safe and comfortable with me so that we can build up an honest, open and effective counselling relationship.
How many sessions will I need?
The total number of sessions each client has varies widely. Sometimes five or six sessions are enough, but sometimes the counselling will last for several months. I carry out regular reviews to make sure that the counselling is still meeting my clients' needs.
Counselling isn't a 'quick fix' solution and requires a certain amount of commitment. It is best to come for weekly sessions at first, but later on in the process clients sometimes choose to come fortnightly.
Any other questions?
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any more questions.