COUNSELLING

counselling2

Counselling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment.

A counsellor is trained to listen with empathy (by putting themselves in your shoes). They can help you deal with any negative thoughts and feelings you have.

Sometimes the term “counselling” is used to refer to talking therapies in general, but counselling is also a type of therapy in its own right.

Other psychological therapies include psychotherapycognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and relationship therapy, which could be between members of a family, a couple, or work colleagues.

What is counselling used for?

Talking therapies such as counselling can be used to help with many different mental health conditions, including:

How counselling can help

Counselling aims to help you deal with and overcome issues that are causing emotional pain or making you feel uncomfortable.

It can provide a safe and regular space for you to talk and explore difficult feelings. The counsellor is there to support you and respect your views. They won’t usually give advice, but will help you find your own insights into and understanding of your problems.

Counselling can help you:

  • cope with a bereavement or relationship breakdown
  • cope with redundancy or work-related stress
  • explore issues such as sexual identity
  • deal with issues preventing you achieving your ambitions
  • deal with feelings of depression or sadness, and have a more positive outlook on life
  • deal with feelings of anxiety, helping you worry less about things
  • understand yourself and your problems better
  • feel more confident
  • develop a better understanding of other people’s points of view

Counselling can often involve talking about difficult or painful feelings and, as you begin to face them, you may feel worse in some ways. However, with the help and support of your therapist, you should gradually start to feel better.

What to expect from counselling

During your counselling sessions, you’ll be encouraged to express your feelings and emotions. By discussing your concerns with you, the counsellor can help you gain a better understanding of your feelings and thought processes, as well as identifying ways of finding your own solutions to problems.

It can be a great relief to share your worries and fears with someone who acknowledges your feelings and is able to help you reach a positive solution.

Counselling can take place:

  • Face to face
  • Individually or in a group
  • Over the phone
  • By email

For counselling to be effective, you need to build a trusting and safe relationship with your counsellor.

PSYCHOTHERAPY

helps you understand more about yourself, improve your relationships and get more out of life. Psychotherapy can be especially useful for people with long-term or recurring problems to find the cause of their difficulties.

 

COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)

CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle.

CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts. You’re shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.

Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.

Uses for CBT

CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions.

In addition to depression or anxiety disorders, CBT can also help people with:

CBT is also sometimes used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as:

Although CBT can’t cure the physical symptoms of these conditions, it can help people cope better with their symptoms.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be as effective as medication in treating some mental health problems, but it may not be successful or suitable for everyone.

Some of the advantages of CBT include:

  • It may be helpful in cases where medication alone hasn’t worked
  • It can be completed in a relatively short period of time compared to other talking therapies
  • The highly structured nature of CBT means it can be provided in different formats, including in groups, self-help books and computer programs
  • It teaches you useful and practical strategies that can be used in everyday life – even after the treatment has finished

 

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