Written by Julie Taylor
What Is a Counsellor?
Some people expect a counsellor to tell you what to do and that they will give advice. This is not what we do… For better or for worse?! Whether that’s a good thing depends on whether you want that or not! Most clients do not want to be told what to do and whilst they may appreciate some professional help to see their issues clearly, they want to remain in total control of their own process.
As counsellors we try and act like guides on a trek through an emotional jungle! Our training makes it possible for us to run ahead and clear the vines and brush out of the way so you can see more clearly… For yourself. We are trained to know about a wide range of concerns and experiences but every individual is unique and therefore must make their own decisions. What we can do is help in defining and seein the problem as clearly as possible and brainstorm solutions.
So this is what I do (every counsellor is a little bit different and I will also tailor my counselling according to what each specific client needs…) This is just a very general idea.
- First, I define the problem and we talk about it – I use a triage principle and address anything which is causing a current problem first…
- Next, I help you think about what’s important and set goals
- Then we figure out what to do next, in doable steps
- All along I encourage clients to express their feelings and needs
- And to explore those feelings and needs and get to know themselves beter
- I help clients to tap into their own strengths and resources
- We examine unhelpful habits, coping methods, self-defeating beliefs, values and attitudes and talk about those
- Together we gather all the relevant facts
- And consider different points of view
- Clients see how their behaviour and emotional reactions affect those around them and vice-versa
- And all the way along we set new goals and adjust our ‘path’ according to what we have learned and explored and to fit exactly what the client feels they need
- At regular intervals we check to see if we have stayed on track
Over the next few weeks and months I will get several views of what counselling is and I will either post the most ‘senior and superior’ of them or even make a sort of collage out several points of view and publish that. If you would like your view to be added here, please email me!