Counselling – What You Need to Know


Whether it is a relationship issue, addiction or work-related problem, counselling provides help for people with emotional difficulties. The aim is to enable them to find solutions to their problems so they can change their behaviour and live happier lives. Counselling may be offered as a single session, or as a course of sessions over a period of weeks, months or even years. Counsellors are trained to listen sympathetically, and suggest ways in which the client can resolve their issues and change their behaviour.

The first step in the counselling process is for a counsellor to establish a warm relationship and trust with their client. They will usually do this by asking questions and encouraging the client to talk about their difficulties. This will also give the counsellor a chance to assess what is happening and how best to proceed.

Once the counsellor has assessed the situation they will set goals for the client to achieve. This is a crucial part of the process. The goals will vary depending on the approach taken by the counsellor, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that aims to change negative thought patterns, or Person-Centred Therapy that uses the quality of the counselling therapist-client relationship to encourage self-actualisation.

It is important for the counsellor to have good communication skills, especially listening. They will need to be able to read body language and other non-verbal cues. They will also need to be empathetic, as the root word of empathy means to feel with someone, not for them.

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