Counselling is a form of therapy that helps individuals work through their issues and problems in a safe and confidential environment. It can be offered as a single session, or as part of a longer course of sessions over several months or even years. Counsellors are able to help people gain a deeper understanding of their thoughts and emotions, and they can also support people in finding solutions to their problems.

Counsellors typically use techniques such as active listening skills, showing empathy and paraphrasing, reflecting, questioning elaboration and clarifying to assist their clients. While a counsellor may have some knowledge of psychology and theory, they are more likely to focus on building rapport with their client and supporting them through their own experiences rather than using psychological theories and methods.

During counselling sessions, it is usual for the client to express their feelings in a safe and non-judgemental environment. This can be difficult to do at times, but it is important that they are able to share their thoughts and feelings in order to explore them more fully. This process can be empowering, and it is common for clients to realise that they have hidden problems beneath the surface that they were unaware of until they started talking to a counselor.

The counsellor will also ask the client questions about their personal history, to try and get a better understanding of the root cause of their problem. However, this is often less in-depth than psychotherapy, which aims to investigate the underlying aspects of someone’s character that might contribute to their situation.