Counseling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment. A counselor is trained to listen with empathy (by putting themselves in your shoes). They can help you deal with any negative thoughts and feelings you have.
Sometimes the term “counseling” is used to refer to talking therapies in general, but counseling is also a type of therapy in its own right.
Other psychological therapies include psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and relationship therapy, which could be between members of a family, a couple, or work colleagues.
Counselling aims to help you deal with and overcome issues that are causing emotional pain or making you feel uncomfortable. It can provide a safe and regular space for you to talk and explore difficult feelings. The counselor is there to support you and respect your views. They won’t usually give advice but will help you find your insights into and understanding of your problems.
Counseling can help you:
cope with a bereavement or relationship breakdown
cope with redundancy or work-related stress
explore issues such as sexual identity
deal with issues preventing you achieving your ambitions
deal with feelings of depression or sadness, and have a more positive outlook on life
deal with feelings of anxiety, helping you worry less about things
understand yourself and your problems better
feel more confident
develop a better understanding of other people’s points of view
Counseling can often involve talking about difficult or painful feelings and, as you begin to face them, you may feel worse in some ways. However, with the help and support of your therapist, you should gradually start to feel better.
In most cases, it takes several sessions before the counseling starts to make a difference, and a regular commitment is required to make the best use of the therapy.