What is Counselling?

This handout serves as a guideline only, which you may find useful if you are considering one-to-one counselling. Everyone is unique and so not everything that is written below will apply to you.

The Counselling Contract

Counselling is a formally contracted helping relationship and begins with a no obligation, cost free, assessment interview. Anxiety Care offers an initial negotiated contract, with each counselling session lasting 50 minutes. Reviews take place with the client at regular intervals, whereupon a decision will be made as to whether to continue with further sessions. The contract includes the conditions on which counselling is offered, and covers things such as confidentiality, fee, time, day, breaks, cancellations, holidays etc. The sessions are generally held weekly, on the same day and at the agreed time, each week. Anxiety Care offers an Equal Opportunities policy of participation for everybody.

What Counselling Offers You

Counselling will provide you with the privacy of a confidential one-to-one relationship and setting, in which you can explore, at your own pace, your difficulties, thoughts and feelings in greater depth. In particular, the purpose of counselling work is not about the counsellor giving advice, but to help a client to explore whatever difficulties he or she may have within the context of his or her own personal values and beliefs. The main focus of one-to-one counselling work is that the conclusions a client comes to are his or her own. It is also important for you to know that if at any time you are unsatisfied with any aspect of your sessions together, you can raise this with your counsellor.

What is likely to happen in Counselling?

The aim will be to find out more about your situation and how your current difficulties have developed into a problem that is interfering with living your life. This is always done in a gradual way with your full collaboration. The counsellor will help you to examine what it is that makes your situation difficult, what resources you have and your own abilities to deal with it.

You may also discover that your problem is related to factors, which you may not have previously been fully aware of. The counsellor will help you to look at how these factors may be contributing to the problem that is affecting you. Nobody can solve another’s problems directly but counselling can help you to explore choices and reach decisions towards your own solution; ones that you can judge are right for you.