Excerpt: Understanding Counselling

by Ms. Melanie Billings, Counselling Psychologist.

Understanding Counselling

Introduction

When we experience difficulties, we quite often discuss them with family or friends. Certainly you can get help and support from family members, friends, colleagues etc., but usually people bring to these conversations and relationships other expectations and agendas alongside helping you with your distress. It is necessary sometimes to turn to an objective, neutral person like a mental health professional.

Talking therapies,’ such as counselling and psychotherapy, are very popular and are considered to be very effective treatments for a wide range of mental health problems (e.g. Mellor-Clark et al., 2001). They can help with negative feelings or distress. They offer the chance to explore your thoughts and feelings and the role they may play in your mood and behaviour. Talking therapies involve establishing a professional relationship with an individual who is trained to support you with your difficulties.

Who Goes to Counselling?

People engage in counselling for many, many different reasons. Most people seek out a counsellor because they are unhappy with some aspect of their lives. However, sometimes somebody else may be unhappy with them. For example, a spouse might insist on a partner attending counselling to address a particular issue that they think is harming their relationship (e.g. anger or trust issues or poor communication). The client comes to the therapist hoping to resolve the problem.

Sometimes people are very clear and specific about their goals for counselling. Other times, clients may arrive at the process with only a vague sense of what is causing their distress. Both presentations are absolutely fine. Either way the journey they take in counselling may result in very positive change. It does not always involve the change the client initially imagined. The impetus to access counselling can be as wide and varied as the individuals who seek it out.

For experienced and qualified counsellors, see http://www.appletreehealthandwellness.com/

This is an excerpt From How to Be Happy and Healthy – the Seven Natural Elements of Mental Health published by Ashfield Press. Interested in learning more? Check out the book in its entirety here.  

Understanding Counselling
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