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What is Counselling?

Counselling is the generic name given to a supportive service that provides individuals with guidance and help to understand, accept and overcome emotional issues, problems and concerns, some of which may be long-standing. The counselling relationship is a professional working relationship that will involve seeing a counsellor for a number of sessions, where the counsellor will support you to talk about your concerns, issues and feelings.

“Everyone – and that includes therapist as well as patients – is destined to experience not only the exhilaration of life, but also its inevitable darkness: disillusionment, aging, illness, isolation, loss, meaningless, painful choices, and death.”  The Gift of Therapy, Irvin D. Yalom, 2001.

Photograph by Sarah Bruce

Counselling may involve talking about life events, feelings, emotions, relationships, ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour. The counsellor will listen, encourage and empathise, but will also challenge to help the client to see their issues more clearly or in a different way.

Counselling is not about giving advice or opinions, nor is it a friendly chat with a friend. The counsellor helps the client to understand themselves better and find their own solutions to resolve or cope with their situation.

Assessment/Our first meeting

The first meeting with me, is a one hour initial consultation session that provides you with an opportunity to discuss the issues you may want to bring into counselling and for me, your therapist to assess the best way of helping you. There will also be the opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have. Confidentiality is respected and I  abide by the principles of good practice outlined in the Ethical Framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Following this assessment you are under no obligation to commit to further sessions.