Counselling – What You Need to Know

Counselling is a conversational process that allows clients to explore aspects of their lives and feelings in a safe, confidential environment. It is a chance to discuss things that can often be difficult to talk about with friends and family, who may have their own agenda or personal biases. During the first session your therapist will probably ask some questions about the presenting problem as well as getting to know you, your history and background. This can feel quite formal, or it might just be a free-flowing discussion.

They will probably talk about your daily routine and how you feel about various areas of your life, including relationships, work and home. They may also want to talk about any symptoms you are experiencing. This information will help them develop a clearer picture of your situation and the root causes of your problems.

Counsellors have a number of skills which help them to facilitate this conversation, such as effective listening and the ability to read body language. They are also trained to identify any potential red flags and can refer you to a doctor or emergency services if necessary.

If the therapist recommends psychological testing, it will usually take place outside of your counselling sessions. These tests can be very time consuming and expensive. However, they are essential in helping to understand the cause of certain problems and provide insight into the individual’s functioning and emotional states. Psychological testing can also inform individuals of their strengths so they are able to compensate for any documented weaknesses.

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