Counselling with adults is the one that we are most familiar with and have seen most often being played out on TV shows and movies.

A counsellor and a client sit together and have a conversation that looks to help the client understand and deal with a challenge they are having in their life. A discussion usually takes place early on about what the client can expect in the time spent together and what the client’s role in the process will be.

Before moving forward, it is important to talk about what counselling is not.

Counselling is not fixing something broken within the client because the client is not broken and cannot be cured in the same way that a doctor can prescribe medicine to treat an illness.

Counselling is a journey that the client and the counsellor go on together, and they are equal partners in finding out the best way to move forward. The counsellor’s role is to help clients explore challenges and find healing based on the education, training, and experiences they have had. The client’s role is to take what they have learned in session and do their best to apply it in their day to day lives. Future counselling sessions can then build on this life learning and work through what went well and what was less helpful.

There is one part of the counselling process that is key for the client to focus on, and this is the connection between the client and the counsellor.

Speaking from my own experiences as both a client and as a counsellor, the foundation of counselling is the relationship. I have seen counsellors where there was a very strong connection and some where the connection was just not there for me. It had nothing to do with me not being a good client or the counsellor not being skilled at what they were doing but was more that the counsellor was not the right fit for what I needed at that moment.

In a strong and bonded relationship, the client feels completely understood, accepted, and cared for by their counsellor, and no amount of skill or experience can replace that level of connection.

Counselling provides the space to be heard and understood in a nonjudgmental way and that experience is just one of the many opportunities created for personal healing.

Blog post by Sarah Nixon, Volunteer

For more on individual adult counselling, click here.