Sometimes it is very difficult to decide or say what is on your mind talking with a therapist or counselor can help you cope with the difficulty and make a positive change or make your own decision. Counseling takes place when a counselor sees a client in a private and confidential setting to explore a difficulty the client is having, distress they may be experiencing or perhaps their dissatisfaction with life, or loss of a sense of direction and purpose. It is always at the request of the client as no one can properly be ‘sent’ for counseling.
By listening attentively and patiently the counselor can begin to perceive the difficulties from the client’s point of view and can help them to see things more clearly, possibly from a different perspective. Counseling is a way of enabling choice or change or of reducing confusion. It does not involve giving advice or directing a client to take a particular course of action. Counselors do not judge or exploit their clients in any way.
In the counseling sessions the client can explore various aspects of their life and feelings, talking about them freely and openly in a way that is rarely possible with friends or family. Bottled up feelings such as anger, anxiety, grief and embarrassment can become very intense and counseling offers an opportunity to explore them, with the possibility of making them easier to understand. The counselor will encourage the expression of feelings and as a result of their training will be able to accept and reflect the client’s problems without becoming burdened by them.
Acceptance and respect for the client are essentials for a counselor and, as the relationship develops, so too does trust between the counselor and client, enabling the client to look at many aspects of their life, their relationships and themselves which they may not have considered or been able to face before. The counselor may help the client to examine in detail the behaviour or situations which are proving troublesome and to find an area where it would be possible to initiate some change as a start. The counselor may help the client to look at the options open to them and help them to decide the best for them.