Support in identifying and addressing personal problems
People who are having trouble coping with their problems may use counselling to provide support and relieve distress. Counsellors act as a sounding board and encourage people to express their feelings, allowing them to take the lead in dealing with their problems.
Counselling can help support people who are sad, worried, or facing a crisis. You may find it helpful if you are having difficulty dealing with bereavement or if you are facing a terminal illness. However, if you have more deep-seated psychological problems, you may need a form of therapy in which the therapist plays a stronger and more active role, such as behaviour therapy or cognitive–behavioural therapy.
For some problems, you may need a specific form of support. For example, you may require relationship counselling if you are in a troubled relationship or debt counselling if you are continually in financial difficulty.
What does it involve?
At the first session, which may take one hour or longer, the counsellor asks you about yourself and your background to build up a clear picture of you and your problem. You may also discuss what you want counselling to achieve.
At counselling sessions, which are usually held once a week, you decide, with the counsellor’s guidance, what you discuss and the pace at which you discuss it. Your counsellor may suggest problem-solving exercises to help you deal with your problems one by one.
Counselling may be short-term if you are dealing with a situation such as a bereavement, or long-term to help with a more complex problem.
What can I expect?
You may find that talking about your problems is enough to help you to find a solution. With your counsellor’s support, you should be able to develop ways to solve your problems. In counselling, it is often easier than in some other therapies to see whether specific goals have been achieved.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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