What Counselling is
Sometimes the difficulties we face in life seem to keep us stuck. Whatever we try, nothing seems to make a real difference. Even though family or friends may be well meaning, their advice does not help and can occasionally leave us feeling worse!
At times like this, many people find talking to an experienced, trained counsellor enables them to turn things around. Being in a non-judgmental, relaxed and welcoming environment enables you to open up.
Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues. These issues can we very wide ranging, you can find a list under can we help?
Theory – How it works
Sometimes the term “counselling” is used to refer to talking therapies in general, but counselling is also a type of therapy in its own right. At Feathers Counselling we practise Integrative Therapy. This means we can choose the theory and ‘tools’ that may suit you, your issues and your personality best. Like a tool box the therapist uses their skill to integrate CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Person Centred and TA (Transactional Analysis).
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)is a type of talking treatment which focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour, and teaches you coping skills for dealing with different problems.
In CBT you work with a therapist to identify and challenge any negative thinking patterns and behaviour which may be causing you difficulties. In turn this can change the way you feel about situations and enable you to change your behaviour in future.
You and your therapist might focus on what is going on in your life right now, but you might also look at your past, and think about how your past experiences impact the way you see the world.
Transactional Analysis (TA) is about human relationships and how we ‘transact’ or communicate with each other, this can be verbal and non-verbal. The theory in its simplest form states there is the child, adult and parent personality within us all.
The parent part of you repeats the past parental influences or internal conversations and these are stored as programs or memories in your unconscious.
The adult part of you is the levelled and balanced person analysing, evaluating and rationalising things. A bit like a data processor and very rational.
The child part of you grew out of your childhood view of the world and your surroundings when you were a child.
We all flick forwards and backwards through these three states throughout every day and on the most part this is healthy. Problems occur when you get stuck in an inappropriate state or drama triangle.
Transactional analysis helps to explain the reasons why we feel the way we do, think the way we do and behave the way we do. The purpose of transactional analysis as a therapy is to assist you in better understanding problems especially what lies beneath these problems to eventually lead to life changes.
Person Centred – This underpins everything we do at Feathers Counselling. The relationship between counsellor and client is a key catalyst for lasting change to occur. Person or client-centred therapy is based on the view that everyone has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change, given the right conditions. Rather than being seen as the expert and directing the therapy, the counsellor is genuine, empathises and remains congruent to help you come to terms with any negative feelings and to change and develop in your own way.
How do the sessions work?
Counselling sessions involve meeting with a trained counsellor, in a confidential environment, where you can discuss your concerns. Sessions last 50 minutes, giving you 5 mins to settle in and 5 mins to get ready to join the outside world at the end, its desirable we see each other weekly. However, you may attend more frequently or less frequently, depending on the issues you are dealing with. When we first meet, we will discuss what your needs are and how we are best working.
Research indicates, that you can get the best results, when you work with a counsellor that really “gets you”. For this reason, we offer a FREE initial meeting. If its not for you try another counsellor there should be a natural fit.
We are often asked how many sessions will I need? the honest answer is you will know when you get to that point. We offer open ended work, some people need just 5 or 6 sessions, others may require months or years of therapy. Sometimes to make lasting change there needs to be commitment and motivation to longer work. What we will ensure is that we continue to review the work we are doing to ensure its meeting your goals and is beneficial to you. You are free to finish your counselling whenever you choose, we will discuss this to ensure we have the proper ending you deserve.
What Counselling is not
A professional counsellor will not give advice. However, neither is it just passive listening, good therapy should challenge the client or educate them. Through questioning and talking, the counsellor helps you gain insights into your own problems and work through what solution may work for you.
It is not like going to the doctors expecting an analysis of your condition. Followed by a recommendation how to put it right. Counsellors cannot diagnose.
Counsellors do not give advice by drawing on their experience of how they reacted to a situation like that of the client.
A good counsellor will never be judgemental no matter what factors the client reveals. They will never encourage you to behave in a way another client may have behaved when faced a similar situation. Unlike when talking to a friend or a relative a counsellor will never get emotionally involved.
Counselling is not for everyone, it works best when you believe it can help, you are motivated to make changes and our approach is one that inherently makes sense to you.
Counselling is not friendship, it is a professional two-way relationship so it can remain objective.