What is Counselling?
Counselling is defined as talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues. Sometimes the term “counselling” is used to refer to talking therapies in general, but counselling is also a type of therapy in its own right. Many people will, at some point in their lives, find themselves in the role of a counsellor without having a true understanding of the concept of counselling or what the role of the professional counsellor entails.
There is a big difference between a professional counsellor and a person who uses some counselling skills as part of their role, for example as a friend or colleague. A professional counsellor is a highly-trained individual who is able to use a different range of counselling approaches with their clients.
- The process occurs when a client and counsellor set aside time to explore difficulties which may include the stressful or emotional feelings of the client.
- The act of helping the client to see things more clearly, possibly from a different viewpoint. This can enable the client to focus on feelings, experiences or behaviour, with the goal of facilitating positive change.
- A relationship of trust. Confidentiality is paramount to successful counselling. Professional counsellors will usually explain their policy on confidentiality. They may, however, be required by law to disclose the information if they believe that there is a risk to life.
Counselling is not:
- Giving advice.
- Being judgemental.
- Attempting to sort out the problems of the client.
- Expecting or encouraging a client to behave as the counsellor would behave if confronted with a similar problem in their own life.
- Getting emotionally involved with the client.
- Looking at a client’s problems from your own perspective, based on your own value system.
Types of Counselling
There is a number of counselling which take place these days. They are mainly divided into various fields. This allows people to choose the counsellor as per their specific problem. Moreover, this assures the counsellor doing the work is a specialist in their respective field. The following are the most common types of counselling:
- Marriage and Family Counselling
- Educational Counselling
- Rehabilitation Counselling
- Mental Health Counselling
- Substance Abuse Counselling
Marriage and Family Counselling
People often face a lot of problems in their marriage and family life. Sometimes, these troubled people find it hard to cope with their life. This results in constant fights with their partners or family members. Marriage and family counselling come in here. In other words, it helps people with these problems. They take them into confidence and prescribe solutions that will help them overcome their problems.
A student who is fresh out of school or college is often clueless as to which career to choose. This is completely normal for kids of that age to feel like that. Furthermore, sometimes even working individuals feel like that in the midst of their careers. This is nothing to worry about. Educational counselling helps these people in choosing their career path. They conduct seminars and orientations or private sessions where they discuss the interest of their client and offer solutions accordingly.
This type of counselling refers to a practice where the counsellor helps people with their emotional and physical disabilities. Furthermore, these counsellors teach these people ways to live independently and maintain gainful employment. It evaluates the strength and limitations of their patients. In short, they help people by guiding them and assisting them to lead independent lives.
Mental Health Counselling
Mental illnesses have become very common these days. Awareness has helped people identify the symptoms of it and visit mental health counsellors. Mental health counselling helps people deal with issues that impact their mental health and well-being. Some of the mental illnesses are depression, PTSD, ADHD, Bipolar disorder, and more. This counselling focuses on these issues and helps in resolving them for a healthier life.
According to the National Institute for Mental Illness, approximately 26.2 percent of adult Americans (over one in four) are affected by some type of mental illness each year. Here are some of the common mental illnesses that counsellors work with:
- Anxiety disorder
- Attention deficit disorder
- Borderline personality
- Eating disorder
- Generalized anxiety
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Social phobia
Substance Abuse Counselling
Substance abuse counselling is a form of counselling which helps people by treating them and supporting them in breaking free from their drug and alcohol addiction. It helps people discuss the cause of this addiction and reach the root of it. The counsellor thereby suggests coping strategies which make a positive impact on their lives. Moreover, they also provide them with practising skills and behaviours which help in their recovery.
This approach integrates psychotherapeutic and coping skills-training techniques with abstinence-based addiction counselling. The primary goals of treatment are to enhance and sustain patient motivation for change, establish and maintain abstinence from all psychoactive drugs, and foster the development of (nonchemical) coping and problem solving skills to thwart and ultimately eliminate impulses to “self-medicate” with psychoactive drugs.
The approach combines cognitive-behavioral, motivational, and insight-oriented techniques according to each client’s individual needs. The therapeutic style is empathic, client centred, and flexible. Strong emphasis is placed on developing a good working alliance with the client to prevent premature dropout and as a vehicle for promoting therapeutic change. The counsellor attempts to work with and through rather than against a client’s resistance to change. Aggressive confrontation of denial, the hallmark of traditional addiction counselling, is seen as counterproductive and antithetical to this approach.
In conclusion, all types of counselling carry equal importance. They allow people to work through their problems and lead happier and healthier life. There is no shame in taking counselling sessions as it only helps in the growth of an individual. In addition, counselling also helps save lives.