What is Counselling?
Counselling can be helpful in different ways. It can help you deal with particular feelings or situations that are troubling you.
You might be struggling with a particular problem, like not being able to sleep or feeling very anxious or very low. There may have been an event in your life, a loss or bereavement or a traumatic experience such as a road accident. Relationships with loved ones or colleagues may be difficult. You may have issues from your past that cause you difficulty today.
Or, you may have a more general feeling of not being as content with your life as you would like to without perhaps being sure about the reasons why.
'Adversity precedes growth' Rosemarie Rossetti
Counselling can help you to understand what is happening and find and develop more satisfying ways of living.
Some of the issues I have helped people with include anger, relationship difficulties, bereavement and other losses, depression, anxieties and fears including panic attacks, concerns relating to sex and sexuality, low self confidence, domestic violence and other forms of abuse, troubling effects of past experiences, problems sleeping or eating and many others.
Counselling helps thousands of people with these kinds of issues.
Counselling or Psychotherapy. What's the difference?
Some believe that psychotherapy and counselling can be distinguished from one another - usually that counselling is short term and looks at particular issues whilst psychotherapy is long term and looks at someone's whole life experience.
Whilst I work in both these ways, my view is that there is no reliable way, across the board, of distinguishing one from the other.
I am more comfortable with "therapy" - from the Greek word for healing - to cover both terms and I prefer to describe myself simply as a therapist.
However, there is much common ground between the differing views of counselling and psychotherapy in that they both acknowledge the importance of the relationship that is at the heart of each.
A relationship based on real understanding, warmth and trust is generally accepted as an essential requirement for any model of therapy whether it is labelled counselling or psychotherapy.
Some counsellors believe further that it is simply the factors that are common to all helpful relationships, such as genuine acceptance, respect, warmth and understanding that are really what makes counselling helpful rather than this or that theoretical model.
When seeking a counsellor. it is most important to choose one with whom you could imagine having a relationship that is founded on these qualities.