What is counselling?
Counselling is a safe and confidential space to talk about any issues that are troubling you.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
My governing body, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), make no distinction between counselling and psychotherapy. However, others specify that counsellors do shorter term work on specific issues whereas psychotherapists work for longer periods with deep-seated more complex issues. I refer to myself as a counsellor and am confident doing both short and long-term work.
How will I feel?
Counselling is a personal process and how you feel will depend on the kind of issues you are bringing. It may involve talking about painful experiences or choices you have made and this may initially make you feel worse. However, with the support of a good counsellor, the therapy should help you to feel better now about events which have troubled you in the past. Therapy won't change the past, but it can change how you feel about it.
How soon will I feel better?
This will depend upon the complexity of the issues you would like to work on. Some people feel better after just a few sessions, whereas for others, the process can be much longer.
Will it definitely work?
Therapy does not work for everyone. Sometimes people find that they would rather not continue to talk about issues which are painful for them. However, what is known to greatly improve the chances of a positive outcome is the quality of the relationship between client and counsellor. With a warm, empathic and non-judgemental working relationship, it is possible to work through these difficult feelings.