What to Expect from Counselling

People come to counselling for many reasons. Some are in crisis; some seek to improve their lives or their sense of well-being; some come because they have an issue which is disturbing them, or an addiction; others come because they’re looking for a secure and confidential place to talk about their problems. Whatever the reason, it is important that you understand certain things about the counselling process. First of all, counselling is not always an easy process. Often difficult subjects need to be addressed. There may be times when it does not feel good to be in counselling in which case it may be helpful to remember that you entered counselling for your long-term best interest that you came not because you wanted to avoid issues, but because you wished to explore them. Tears are not uncommon in a counselling room. In the short term, counselling may be upsetting, but in the long-term the chances are you will leave the process happier and healthier.

Secondly, you have the right to expect your counsellor to adhere to high professional standards. As a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy I am governed by a code of ethics (contained in the BACP’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy) which sets down the values, principles and personal moral qualities required. The fundamental values of counselling and psychotherapy are:

  • Respecting human rights and dignity
  • Ensuring integrity of practitioner-client relationships
  • Enhancing the quality of professional knowledge and its application
  • Alleviating personal distress and suffering
  • Fostering a sense of self that is meaningful to the persons concerned
  • Increasing personal effectiveness
  • Enhancing the quality of relationships between people
  • Appreciating the variety of human experience and culture
  • Striving for the fair and adequate provision of counselling and psychotherapy services

Thirdly, you are unique and will be treated accordingly. As a Person-Centred Counsellor I offer each and every client Unconditional Positive Regard encompassing gender, sexuality, culture, belief system and no belief. You will not be given advice or ‘treatment’ but I will explore with you your needs and endeavour to assist you in achieving the empowerment you desire.

If I consider you will be better served by someone with a particular specialism which I do not have, I may, after first discussing with you the reasons leading me to that opinion, refer you to such a person. Any such referral would need your approval and you would have the right to refuse.

Whatever causes you to seek help -whether it be stress from work or home, financial difficulties, anxiety, depression, a loss or bereavement, a relationship issue whether with your partner, friend or work colleague – it is a significant move on your part to acknowledge that there is something that you need to address which you cannot do on your own. You have taken the very brave step of a) acknowledging it and b) doing something about it.