What is counselling ?

Counselling is a  process that enables a person to sort out issues and reach decisions affecting their life. Often counselling is sought out at times of change or crisis, it need not be so, however, as counselling can also help us at any time of our life.

Counselling involves talking with a person in a way that helps that person solve a problem or helps to create conditions that will cause the person to understand and/or improve his behaviour, character, values or life circumstances.


Counselling is often performed face-to-face in confidential sessions between the counsellor and client(s). However, counselling can also be undertaken by telephone, in writing and, in these days of the Internet, by email or video conferencing.

Counselling can and may take many different formats to bring a person to a better understanding of them self and others. It can therefore be seen that counselling can be of benefit to a person experiencing problems in finding, forming, and maintaining relationships.

Relationship counselling is not about giving advice. It is about helping and supporting a person to find an understanding and answers that work for that person. Counselling is a friendly, supportive and positive approach to personal development.

Many people seeking counselling, have problems or past experiences in their life, which they find difficult to overcome. These experiences and problems prevent the person moving forward in their life. Counselling helps the person face the effects of past experiences and seek ways to overcome them.

Clients usually find counselling a very liberating and empowering experience. That is not to say that they do not feel nervous or daunted when first approaching a counsellor, they do! However, the process and the feeling afterwards, are usually very positive and beneficial.

Counselling may take time to work, depending upon the nature and number of problems being presented by the client. Sometimes, a single or a few sessions are all that is needed. At other times, longer periods, possibly months or up to a couple of years may be needed. The counsellor is there throughout to assist the client in their development.

So if you are facing a crisis in your life, or a period of change, then may be counselling could help you. If you feel things may be going wrong in your life and you want to understand why and do something about it, then may be counselling could help.

Carl Rogers is often thought of as being the 'father' of counselling. It is he who devised the phrase 'person-centered' or 'client-centered' counselling as a description of his approach to therapy with clients. This phrase appears to have been derived from an earlier phrase he used, 'non-directive', which is a phrase still used in Life coaching.

Counselling is often a misunderstood approach. People feel that it is just talking and lacks any practical or therapeutic approaches. Whilst talking, or rather communicating, issues is central to the counselling process, it is the listening and the reflecting done by the counsellor that helps the client to understand their problem better. In Carl Rogers' approach to counselling, it is believed that the client already has all the skills necessary for them to tackle the issues they present. This latter point is a factor that helps distinguish counselling from 'other forms of therapy which provide an 'expert' to provide a 'cure' or 'treatment' for you


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