Counselling is a form of talk therapy wherein a licensed counsellor sits down with a client to help them work through their issues in a safe, confidential environment. The client discusses their issues with the counsellor in depth, helping them to work through these issues and change their lives.
Counselling can take many forms, ranging from in-person to online to telephone sessions. It starts with the intake process, wherein our reception staff gather basic information about the client, such as their address, phone number, and any relevant insurance information, along with types of service desired.
Once the appointment is booked, the client is then asked to provide written information such as relevant medical issues, past history of mental health problems, family history, and other details that are relevant to counselling service provision.
Contrary to what is often thought, counselling does not involve judgment on the part of the counsellor. It is rather a sort of partnership wherein the counsellor helps the patient explore the purpose and cause of everything from their negative thoughts to detrimental actions.
By helping the patient bring subconscious or unconscious motivations to the surface, counselling helps guide clients toward solutions. It is therefore a joint effort, one that can serve to help with a large array of problems ranging from addiction, abuse, childhood trauma, and more general emotional issues like low self-esteem.
By its very nature, counselling is a unique and highly individualized experience.
There are, however, clear signs which generally indicate when someone should seek therapy. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Feelings of being overwhelmed
- Social withdrawal
It is the client’s responsibility to determine, within the boundaries of reason, what is good and bad in their own life on the basis of what they have learned during sessions. The counsellor’s role is not to tell the client what to do; it is to help them find their own path.
The client also needs to determine if their counsellor is right for them. They could, for example, ask themselves:
- Do I feel understood?
- Does my therapist challenge me?
- Does my therapist respects my boundaries?
Counselling applies the principles of psychology without creating cookie-cutter solutions. Scientific studies consistently show that therapy is an effective form of intervention, a fact which highlights the strength of this approach. In sum, therapy is an excellent treatment for a wide array of populations, and society should take measures to make it more generally available.
Blog post by Kenneth Milner, Volunteer
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