What is Counselling?

Published on 12th September 2023

It is generally accepted that “a problem shared is a problem halved” and this, in many respects, is true. None of us can carry it all. We can’t ignore what we feel, what we need and want; we have to believe in ourselves and be able to fulfil our potential – it’s a normal human drive.

A counsellor, by ‘exploring your world’ with you, looking at yourself from your own point of view, reflects back what they believe you are saying and feeling. In this way, the client can see what they really think ‘through another’s eyes’ (which is how we develop our self-image, through others) but this time we see how we perceive ourselves. This can be very powerful. Then we can make informed decisions about what is possible, to be who and where we want to be, through understanding our needs, choices and actions.

Many people hold on to their feelings and anxieties to spare close ones like family and friends any further stress or upset when something happens in our lives. This can be especially true of bereavement and loss, where often others close to us are also affected.

Individuals don’t share their real feelings and fears, thoughts and ideas which might upset other people around us. The problem is that when we don’t share these feelings, the effects are still upsetting because you can’t help but react to what you think and feel, one way or another. And over time, suppressed feelings will negatively affect our lives somehow or other.

Sharing a problem or anxiety can be by talking or writing it down – in a journal, or a letter or even onto personal websites like blogs. Talking with a counsellor, who undertakes training for a minimum of three years through three levels of skills, can help immensely. The counsellor will focus on you – your feelings, your values and beliefs, and will help you to realise who you are and, eventually, you can find out where you want to be and even how you might get there. The counsellor ‘facilitates’ your process – listening, reflecting back to you what they hear and see, so you can check it out and make sure it’s the right message you are giving and receiving. It’s a relief to have someone ‘hear’ you properly, without taking on their own agenda and perspective which we sometimes feel we can’t ‘challenge’ in order to get the real message across to them. It can be frustrating and upsetting when you feel misunderstood.


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