Counselling – how can it work for you
Through talking and sharing a person is helped to explore their thoughts, possibly difficult or painful feelings and related behaviours and thereby reach a clearer self- understanding. During this exploration the person is helped to find and use their inner resources and strengths so that they can cope more effectively with life by making appropriate decisions and taking relevant action.
Couples counselling offers the parties in a relationship to work through their difficulties with a counsellor trained in this area of work. Couples counselling is for any couple experiencing conflict in their relationship. This relationship may not necessarily be an intimate relationship – it can for example be between family members, or workplace relationships between colleagues or employee/employer. The counsellor acts as a facilitator to help the couples identify areas of conflict and stuck patterns of communication and behaviour, providing a safe space where both parties can express their perceptions and expectations of the relationship. The aim is to help the couple come to a mutually suitable outcome, helping the couple to decide on what changes in behaviour and communication will help to resolve the problems. If the couple decide to separate or divorce then the counsellor can provide emotional support to help the couple negotiate through this painful process.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This therapy is based on the concept that the way we think (cognitive) about things affects how we feel emotionally and how we act (the behaviour). While it recognises that past events may influence present thoughts and behaviours it focuses on alleviating difficulties in the here and now. The counsellor helps the client to identify, question and change negative or self-destructive thoughts, thus altering habitual responses and behaviour. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy thus focuses on present thinking, behaviour and communication rather than on past experiences and is orientated towards problem solving (goal orientated). It is usually a more short term approach to problems such as phobias, panic attacks, obsessions and addictions.
Losing someone close to you can lead to feelings of anger, denial, regret and depression – which can become worse if you keep them bottled up. It can help to freely express your emotions, cry and share your memories during a counselling session.
Events that happen during childhood can stay with you for life, or you may repress or try to forget them. Counselling sessions are a safe and confidential place to discuss traumas and make sense of things you may not have understood at the time.
Confidence and self-esteem
A lack of confidence might make you doubt your own capabilities and your worth as a person. During counselling, you can explore the reasons that you feel this way and rebuild your self-esteem in a safe environment.
A chat with a counsellor can be effective in both identifying the causes of your depression and treating it. It also creates a more positive environment, breaking the cycle of negative thoughts that makes you feel worse.
Marital problems and divorce
It’s always hard when a relationship with someone you love and care for breaks down. Being able to discuss problems with an impartial, qualified counsellor is especially helpful if your relationship is suffering from a lack of communication.
Physical and verbal abuse
If you’ve been a victim of bullying or domestic violence, you might find it therapeutic and beneficial to seek counselling. Words can stay with you long after bruises disappear, and talking with a counsellor is also a step towards regaining your self-confidence.
Whether you come to a counselling session alone or as a couple, talking through your problems and arguments can help you see them from your partner’s perspective. You can seek relationship counselling even if you’re single, to try and make more sense of past relationship patterns.
Sexual abuse and trauma
If you’ve been a victim of rape or other sexual abuse, don’t feel afraid or embarrassed to seek help. Confidential counselling in a safe, non-judgemental environment is always an option.