What is Counselling and Psychotherapy?
Counselling provides you with a supportive, non judgemental and confidential environment in which to explore any emotional, psychological or physical problems you may be encountering.
Counselling can assist you to identify your own personal resources and capabilities, which are sometimes lost or buried in times of confusion and anxiety. It may enable you to see your circumstances afresh and with clarity so that you can make the necessary changes that will help you at different stage of your life. We will not make decisions for you or impose opinions, but will respect your individual needs.
Throughout the counselling process you will be encouraged, supported and empowered to look at yourself from a different perspective. The aim is not only to help you cope with a current issue or crisis, but to do so in a way that produces learning for the future, it is a form of education, so you can feel more in charge of your life. Taking responsibility is an important part of this commitment and journey.
You may come to see a counsellor for a variety of reasons. For example:
- relationship issues
- anxiety and stress
- self-image and self-esteem
- gender and sexuality
- feelings of loneliness and isolation
- generalised feelings of unhappiness
Often it might feel there is nothing specific – lots of pressures such as managing workloads, finances, living away from home, living at home or ill health. So many things can add up to feeling there’s no hope or no way forward.
A Mirror: Counselling is a unique relationship in which the Counsellor’s job is to hold up a mirror for the client to see himself or herself in. We all have experiences in which we can’t see things about ourselves without a mirror.
Whether our hair is fully combed, whether we have something stuck in our teeth, or whether we have a wound in a hard to see place, we often need mirrors to see these things well enough to do something about them. And, sometimes, we need someone to hold the mirror so we can see the things that are at more hidden angles.
In addition to knowing what angles to hold the mirror from, the counsellor understands that sometimes it takes a while for folks to see what they need…. especially if there are more subtle things needing our recognition.
Finally, because most people tend to be hard on themselves (if not downright mean to themselves) the counsellor knows to hold the mirror in such a way that the client can see himself or herself from a caring, supportive, and sympathetic perspective.
Reflections Often counsellors seem to only be repeating what clients are saying to them or paraphrasing clients rather than giving answers. I hear you saying…. It seems that you are…. I can feel that you are experiencing… How does that make you feel? What emotions do you have about this?
Actually, when counsellors are doing this, there is a strategy behind it. Remember, counselling is not about experts fixing problematic people. Mirrors don’t comb our hair; they just motivate us to pick up the comb by showing the areas that need our attention.
When counsellors ask such questions or make such statements, they are not necessarily seeking answers from clients. Rather, they are simply giving the clients an opportunity to focus on the things that seem out of view for them…. often this involves pointing the mirror to some neglected painful emotions.
Counselling is about reflecting back to the client that he or she is being heard and providing them an opportunity to hear themselves. Often, hearing one’s own thoughts and feelings in another person’s words adds a clarity and support that’s difficult to grasp when the emotional turmoil simply swims around in our heads without any form. When students can see the most complete reflection of themselves, pain and all, they are more capable of learning about the details of themselves. With this enhanced perspective, those in counselling can make the adjustments needed to make their lives more satisfying. Whatever your problem please do not hesitate to contact us. What is important is that we are here as a resource for you at any time
Some idea’s or reasons why some people seek counselling or psychotherapy:
Though we work using the integrative approach with our clients, some people will request a specific type of counselling and Psychotherapy. The types of counselling and Psychotherapy AAAIB have to offer:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (CBT)
- Psychodynamic therapy often known as
- Person Centered therapy often known as “Rogerian”
Values of counselling and psychotherapy- taken from the BACP
The fundamental values of counselling and psychotherapy include a commitment to:
• Respecting human rights and dignity
• Ensuring the integrity of practitioner-client relationships
• Enhancing the quality of professional knowledge and its application
• Alleviating personal distress and suffering
• Fostering a sense of self that is meaningful to the person(s) concerned
• Increasing personal effectiveness
• Enhancing the quality of relationships between people
• Appreciating the variety of human experience and culture
• Striving for the fair and adequate provision of counselling and psychotherapy services
Values inform principles. They represent an important way of expressing a general ethical commitment that becomes more precisely defined and action-orientated when expressed as a principle.
What counselling is not:
Counselling is many things….but a good place to start is by clarifying what counselling is NOT! Counselling is NOT a place that people go to find out if they’re “crazy” …but rather to get support because sometimes the world can seem pretty “crazy.”
Counselling is NOT something that attends only to challenges regarded as “major problems” and dismissing things some may regard as “less important problems” but rather attends to the issues that clients bring in whenever they feel the distress is getting in the way of living life with satisfaction.
Counselling simply helps to show those who come to counselling that they possess the strength and abilities to manage their challenges.
Counselling is NOT an activity for self-absorbed people. In fact, most students who seek counselling are struggling because they are very sensitive to the feelings and experiences of others and want to preserve their relationships by working on the difficulties that threaten them..
Counselling is NOT an activity where one expert analyses the client. Rather, it is an activity where counsellor and client work as a team to make positive changes in the client’s approach to life.
Counselling is NOT a crutch for weak people. Rather, it is a vehicle a container for strong people who decide to face their challenges directly rather than continue in the more frightened and “escape” oriented ways that others use to deal with difficulties.
Counselling Supervision is tailored to enhance the training and development and effectiveness of an individual counsellor in responding to the needs of your client by helping to develop five areas essential in a counsellor/client relationship
As the counsellor working in your supervision relationship you will be encouraged and guided to;
Become increasingly aware of your own responses generated by their counselling work
Deepen your professional knowledge
Continuously develop your counselling and therapy and professional skills
Manage your caseload
Review your professional practice