The Weybridge Flyer magazine were recently kind enough to publish a Q&A, written by me, in their February edition. It’s a kind-of everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-counselling-but-were-afraid-to-ask affair. I asked my Facebook friends to come up with some questions, and have tried to answer them all! If this article raises any further thoughts, questions or concerns for you, and you’d like to get in touch – please do so, via my website (http://www.philcoxcounselling.co.uk). I’d love to update this blog as more questions come in!
Anyway – here are those questions! (And my answers)
What can counselling help with?
Counselling can help people who are experiencing a range of emotional difficulties, including depression, stress, anxiety, addiction, relationship difficulties, bereavement, anger, and self-esteem issues.
What’s wrong with talking to my family or friends?
Clients often sense that whatever is troubling them is not something which they can resolve on their own. Family and friends can sometimes help, but not always; talking to someone impartial can be particularly beneficial. Some counsellors (including me) will offer a free introductory session, to allow you to get a sense of whether counselling – and that particular counsellor – is right for you.
Will a counsellor advise me on how to put things right in my life?
They will provide you with the safe physical and emotional space that you need to feel properly heard, and to navigate your way through your difficulties. How they do this will vary from counsellor to counsellor, but it will often involve talking about life events (past and present), relationships, feelings, thinking habits, and patterns of behaviour. But will “they put things right” for you? No – only you can do that (and they will support!)
Do I need to be referred by a doctor?
I always suggest that clients let their GP know if they are feeling depressed or anxious. He or she will be able to tell you what support is available on the NHS. Many people prefer to see a private counsellor or therapist. You don’t need a referral for this, and can simply call the counsellor directly.
Do I have to be depressed to benefit from counselling?
Not necessarily. Ask yourself two questions. Firstly, is whatever you’re experiencing causing you distress? And secondly, is it getting in the way of leading the life you’d like to lead? If the answer to either of these questions is ‘yes’, then generally speaking, counselling may be of benefit to you.
Is counselling totally confidential?
Confidentiality is an important part of the counselling process. Generally, what is discussed in a session is confidential between you and the counsellor – with some very unusual exceptions, such as if there’s considered to be a serious risk of imminent harm to you or others. Your counsellor will talk you through these exceptions before commencing work with you.
How do I find a counsellor?
More information about the counselling process can be found at www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk. From here, you can link to the ‘Find A Therapist’ directory of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy.