What is Counselling?
Counselling is a service where you are provided with a supported and safe environment to express and share any issues that are troubling you. Counselling ensures that you are listened to in a way that will help you to understand yourself and how you are feeling. The aim of counselling is to help you discover ways to live your life in a more effective and satisfying manner.
Sometimes we think talking to a friend is enough and yes it can be very helpful, but counselling is not like talking to a friend. It is far more effective. Friends can help to offer us advice on the problems we are facing, counselling instead will help to provide a fresh perspective, helping you to develop your own understanding of what it is you are dealing with, as well as showing you coping mechanisms and strategies. Also, it is often much easier to talk to a professional as they are not personally involved in your situation and can offer impartial empathy and compassion.
The main forms of counselling include:
• Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
• Humanistic / Person-centred therapy
• Integrative counselling (a blend of approaches)
• Eye Movement Desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR)
• Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner (NLP)
• Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT- Tapping)
Who can benefit from counselling?
If you are willing to accept help, or to look at yourself and your issues honestly and attentively, you will benefit from counselling. You do not have to be in a crisis to attend counselling sessions. You can go to counselling because you are feeling overwhelmed with symptoms of anxiety, which can be formed from any situation. If you lack confidence, or simply want to move forward with your life, counselling will also be very helpful.
Counselling is a two-way process. You must be willing to take the steps involved in order to feel the benefits from the service. It can be acknowledged that change is not always easy and involves time and commitment. If you feel you are ready to give your time and make that commitment, counselling is for you.
These are the list of issues Alison can work with to support individuals within a trusting environment, targeting specific areas.
• Affairs and betrayals
• Child related issues
• Drug abuse
• Feeling sad
• Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
• Relationship problems
• Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
• Sexual abuse
• Suicidal thoughts
• Behaviour problems
• Childhood bullying
• Depression and anxiety in children
• Emotional abuse
• Generalised anxiety disorder
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Separation anxiety
• Anger management
• Career counselling
• Domestic violence
• Family issues
• Low self-confidence
• Low self-esteem
• Physical abuse
• Pregnancy and birth
• Separation and divorce
• Work-related stress
What does counselling look like in practice?
During the initial consultation, your counsellor will discuss your expectations and how they will be met. They will also explain other factors such as the length of the session, the confidentiality of the sessions, the treatment plan and the cancellation policy. It is important to be on time for your session to receive the full benefit from it.
A counselling session will encourage you to explore the issues you are faced with, enabling you to express your thoughts and emotions in a safe space. Your counsellor will give you their full attention, ask you things that are relevant to what you share and will make sure you understand what has been said as well as moments of silence for reflection and processing.
It is important to acknowledge that counselling is a very personal service and there may be moments where you feel uncomfortable in the beginning of the process. This feeling is very normal at the beginning; however, it will become much easier as we move forward through the process. Whatever you say in the session is confidential (subject to legal and ethical exceptions).
Counselling can be offered as a single session or as a short-term course of sessions over a period of weeks or months.