What exactly is Counselling?Counselling in the first instance is about listening, to help the client gain a clearer grasp of their problem. This enables the client to make the necessary choices or changes that need to be made. Even though counselling is not about giving advice it can clarify the options available and help decide what’s the best way forward. Throughout this process the counsellor’s response is guided by their ethics and their professional objectivity, and this is what marks it out from any other kind of relationship in life.
In due course the client explores different aspects of their feelings and is gradually able to talk about them more freely and openly. Bottled up emotions such as anger, grief and anxiety can be addressed with the view to making them easier to understand and manage. The counsellor is able to encourage the deeper expression of such feelings, though as a result of their training they are also able to accept and reflect on the client's problems without becoming too burdened by them.
Acceptance and respect for the client are the basic foundations of all forms of counselling, and as the relationship develops so trust grows between counsellor and client. This enables them to face up to difficult aspects of their lives, and slowly examine their feelings about relationships and themselves in a way they couldn’t before. Counselling is about helping the client examine the behaviour or situations which are causing them problems and find ways to initiate the necessary changes. Even though counselling is non-directive it can be profoundly life changing.