How does counselling work in practice?

Some people describe counselling as like going on a journey of discovery, where the counsellor acts as a trusting companion. Other people see counselling as a way of being provided with tools to aid recovery.

In practical terms, most counselling takes place once a week for 50 minutes. This will usually happen in a room that is safe and secure, where you will be able to talk without the fear of anyone else hearing what you say. This is known as a ‘session’. How many sessions you have depends on what is best for you. You might have a certain number of weeks, or you may want to continue until you feel you have achieved all that you want. The experience of a counsellor may also help you in making this decision.

We, as counsellors, come into the room with experience of working sensitively with people’s thoughts and feelings, while you come into the room as an expert of yourself. Together you and the counsellor will make a verbal contract so that you both know where you stand.

The counsellor will spend the early sessions getting to know you and understanding how you like to work. It might be that you like to be in control of what happens, which is great, or it might be that you want the counsellors to make suggestions as to where you go, which is fine, too, or it may be that this changes over the course of the therapy.

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