Counselling is a form of psychological or talking therapy that offers people a chance to change how they feel and to live better. Counselling provides a regular time and space for people to talk about their troubles and explore difficult feelings in an environment that is dependable, free from intrusion and confidential. A counsellor should respect your viewpoint while helping you to deal with specific problems, cope with crises, improve your relationships, or develop better ways of living.
Despite the name, counsellors don’t usually offer advice. Instead, they help you to gain insight into your feelings and behaviour and to change your behaviour, if necessary. They do this by listening to what you have to say and commenting on it from their particular professional perspective.
Psychotherapy aims to help clients gain insight into their difficulties or distress, establish a greater understanding of their motivation, and enable them to find more appropriate ways of coping or bring about changes in their thinking and behaviour.
Psychotherapy involves exploring feelings, beliefs, thoughts and relevant events, sometimes from childhood and personal history, in a structured way with someone trained to help you do it safely.
Depending on the nature of your problem, therapy can be short or long term. Sessions can be provided for adults, adolescents and children on a one-to-one basis, or for couples, families and within groups whose members share similar problems.