What is Counselling

Counselling is an empowering process that encourages individuals to confront issues and problems to find ways to work through presenting issues and gain control of their lives. Counsellors are non judge mental, impartial and simply reflect the clients worries and concerns so that they are able to see the difficulties from another perspective.

What to expect from counselling

If you have decided to try counselling, you might feel anxious about your first session. Making the decision to get help and address the issue you are facing is an important first step and should be commended. It takes a lot of courage to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. Knowing what to expect from a counselling session should help you feel more prepared and less anxious/nervous about your first appointment. In your first session (assessment) you will be asked some questions in order to gain some understanding of whats worrying you (presenting issue) and the way your thought process works.

Some questions your counsellor might ask you can include;

Why are you seeking counselling? You will most likely be asked what it is that has brought you to counselling. This is your opportunity to discuss exactly why you are there, what you hope to gain from counselling and the process.

What is your current situation? It is important to let your counsellor know your current situation, this can include any day to day issues you are facing (anxiety, stress, addiction etc) and even your work and home life. Discussing your personal history will give your counsellor a chance to understand more about you as a person and why these issues may have occurred.

What symptoms are you experiencing? Whether these are physical or psychological it is important to discuss any symptoms with your counsellor. It is advised that you be honest and open when answering these questions in order to get the most out of your counselling sessions. The aim of seeing a counsellor is to build a professional, trusting relationship so you feel safe. If you do not feel comfortable with your counsellor it is perfectly acceptable to look for another one.

Have you had counselling before? This is where you can talk about counselling from previous experience if you have any, what type of counsellor you saw e.g CBT etc. what worked and what didn’t work. Also if this is your first experience you can talk about the process and what will happen.

The Counselling Process

Counselling will give you the opportunity to speak freely and openly about your problems and at times these can be painful and upsetting. Bringing up these thoughts can feel difficult to start with and initially and may make you feel worse before you feel better. This process is necessary to move forward and in time you should start to feel better as you are processing your thoughts and feelings with a trained professional to support you. To get the most from your counselling sessions you should aim to make them consistent (weekly). Some sessions will be more helpful than others but it is important to realize that everything your counsellor is doing is designed to help you in the long run, even if it does feel hard to start with. It is also worth knowing that counselling is not a quick fix and that your counsellor will not be able to tell you what to do. Counselling is not a place where you will be advised, it is for you to reach your own conclusions. The counselling process requires a strong relationship between you and your counsellor and a degree of effort on your part. Together these 2 elements create a successful method to help you resolve your issues.

What Counselling will not give you

There can be a lot of expectation on the counsellor to “fix you” to give you advise and tell you what to do. Counselling is the complete opposite of this. The counsellor will not give you advise, tell you what to do or give you their opinion. The counsellor can help you gain a better understanding of your feelings and thought process. and find your own solutions to your problems. If you are coming to counselling to please someone else because they think you have a problem, but you do not think this counselling will not work. It will only work if you are honest with yourself. There is no point in trying to force yourself to do something if you do not want to or if you are doing it for the sake of other people, you have to want this for yourself.

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