What is counselling?

In essence counselling and psychotherapy seek to elucidate the emotional context of events in our lives – past, present and future. This can contribute to a better understanding of how our emotions can exert an influence on our decision-making, our behaviour and our relationships. And this in turn can also allow us to feel more accepting and forgiving towards ourselves.

Most people who embark on the search for a counsellor find the jargon and approaches intimidating. This is entirely understandable. In essence, my role is very simple – to help you in the most effective way to identify and address the issues you face and to work together to create a level of emotional self-confidence that allows you to move forward.

Counselling can take many different forms, drawing on various psycho-analytical, cognitive-behavioural, and humanistic approaches. It may feel bewildering to discover that there is such a range of choices and equally difficult to know what they all mean in practice. There is a great deal of evidence, however, to suggest that whatever the approach, the single most critical aspect in determining successful outcomes in counselling is the quality of the relationship which develops between the client and the therapist.

Counselling is a collaborative endeavour. It can be both rewarding and inspirational, as well as difficult and painful. I seek to provide a confidential, compassionate, and clear-thinking framework to enable reflection on the stuff of life that is challenging and uncertain. Respect for your autonomy and a non-judgemental approach are central to the relationship established between us.

It is important to stress that counselling is distinct from coaching. I am not an executive coach, and the sorts of issues that counselling addresses are, in general, personal and complex, and may have little to do with professional organisation or career advancement. Having said this, it is not unusual for performance at work, and relationships in general, to suffer when such issues build up and are not addressed. If you are currently working with an executive coach, there is no reason to change this during a period of counselling.

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