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The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy definition of counselling:
Counselling takes place when a counsellor 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 counselling.
By listening attentively and patiently the counsellor can begin to perceive the difficulties from the client's point of view and can help them to see things more clearly, possible from a different perspective. Counselling 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. Counsellors do not judge or exploit their clients in any way.
In counselling 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 counselling offers an opportunity to explore them, with the possibility of making them easier to understand.
The counsellor 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 counsellor and, as the relationship develops, so too does trust between the counsellor and client, enabling the client to look at many aspects of their life, their relationships and examine in detail the behaviour of situations which are proving troublesome and to find an area where it would be possible to initiate some change as a start.
The counsellor may help the client to look at the options open to them and help them to decide the best for them.
Lesley Davies is a B.A.C.P Senior Accredited Counsellor and is bound by its Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy and subject to the Professional Conduct Procedure therein.
|© Lesley Davies Counselling 2009