Counselling can be described as a form of ‘talking therapy’ in which you are invited to explore issues that are significant to you in some way and that are having some kind of impact on your life. The key in counselling is the provision of a safe therapeutic relationship in which you can explore these issues in a non-judgemental, confidential environment, and at your own pace. Confidentiality is one of the cornerstones upon which any therapeutic relationship is built. We acknowledge how precious each individual’s story is and are bound by the code of ethics set down by our governing bodies regarding confidentiality, conduct, competence, and consent.
What kind of issue is suitable to take to counselling?
The short answer is “any kind”. Any issue that you feel is causing some kind of dysfunction for you or for those around you, both in your personal and in your professional life. Perhaps you’ve been feeling unhappy or discontented for some time; you may be feeling regularly anxious and experiencing episodes of ‘panic’ causing you to take time off work or avoid people or places; you may be feeling unhappy in your relationships (romantic, friendships, professional); you may have something unresovled from childhood such as emotional or sexual abuse that is still impacting you in some way; you may have experienced a bereavement recently or some time ago and are finding it difficult to cope; you may have low self esteem and often engage in “downing” self talk believing your opinion “doesn’t count”; you may be living with someone with an addiction or grew up in an alcoholic household; you may have issues around “who am I”, connected with sexuality, or adoption; you may be finding it difficult to cope with a long-term illness; or you may be suffering multiple stresses in your life and feeling overwhelmed as a result.
What if my issue doesn’t fit into one of the examples above?
The examples above are only a small sample of the problems counsellors commonly work with. It is very common for counsellors to hear a new clients concern that he/she is taking up valuable space for another more needy or deserving client. There is no one more deserving than you and this is what we try to espouse during our counselling sessions. We are all individuals and experience stressors in individual ways. What bothers one person may not bother another. Therefore, if you feel that your issue is causing unhappiness for you in some way, you have every right to access counselling support. Some common presenting symptoms are: low mood, anxiety, low self esteem or self loathing, agitation, sleep disturbance, appetite changes, anger, frustration, low tolerance level, worry about health, avoidance behaviours, issues around trust of others, loneliness and isolation, low libido, thoughts of not wanting to be around any more, self-harming behaviours, excessive alcohol and/or prescription medication use, an unhealthy relationship with food, confusion or worry about the future…..
Should I meet with a male or female counsellor?
There is a substantial body of evidence to support the claim that a client will experience positive gains as a result of a healthy ‘helping’ or ‘therapeutic’ relationship regardless of the sex of the counsellor.