What is Counselling/Psychotherapy

08 September, 2014

What is Counselling/Psychotherapy?

Counselling/psychotherapy aims to help you to find ways of coping with problems you may be experiencing. Counselling/psychotherapy provides an opportunity for you to work towards living in a more satisfying and resourceful way. You may need someone to talk to and either you do not wish to burden family or friends or want to talk to someone independent of them. You may feel that you would like more support in terms of time, understanding and trust than family and friends can offer you.

How does Counselling/Psychotherapy Work?

Counselling/Psychotherapy involves talking with someone who is trained in the art of listening so that you can express how you feel in order to begin to find your own solutions to problems. The counsellor/psychotherapist can help you to face up to issues more easily and take responsibility for your part in them, as well as helping you to recognise more clearly how other people may be affecting you. Counselling/psychotherapy provides an opportunity for you to talk safely about your fears. You can explore alternatives and weigh them up objectively. The counsellor/psychotherapist may be able to help you to develop a greater understanding of your feelings, thoughts and behaviours.

Myths about Counselling/Psychotherapy

There is a myth that attending counselling/psychotherapy is a sign of weakness, that strong people maintain a “stiff upper lip” and have no need for counselling/psychotherapy. Exploring one’s feelings and emotions with a view to leading a more positive way of life is a sign of courage rather than of weakness. Problems and difficulties that are not dealt with do not simply go away, they can mount up and in time cause a major crisis. Another myth is that counselling/psychotherapy is only for people who have mental health problems, and that they have to be completely unable to cope to consider counselling/psychotherapy. This is untrue-many people find counselling enables them to cope with specific problems such as relationship breakdown or bereavement. Some people think that counsellors/psychotherapists are there to give them advice and tell them what they should do in a particular situation. Most counsellors/psychotherapists do not work in this way, but aim to help people to explore their situations and possible solutions and work out which is the right way forward for them.