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What is counselling?

The most basic definition of counselling is that it consists of two people in a room talking privately about issues being faced by one of them. At a deeper level, counselling consists of the creation of a safe, supportive and therapeutic relationship within which the client feels comfortable to talk about and reflect upon the problems and opportunities they face. In so doing the client is often able to gain an increased level of self-awareness and self-understanding and, with the help of the counsellor, is often able to to use this insight to overcome obstacles to positive growth and development. The eventual aim of counselling is to help the client access their own innate resources in order that they can address problems of living in an authentic, empowered and growthful manner.

The progress of a course of counselling is not easily described in a generalised way. This is because the process varies depending upon the issues being dealt with and also based upon the unique interaction between the personalities of the counsellor and the client. There are many different methods that Stephen, as your counsellor, may use to help you deal with the issues that you are facing, and a successful outcome in counselling requires a real commitment and an active effort on the part of the client as well as the counsellor. However the rewards of a successful course of counselling, which might include solutions to specific problems, better relationships with others and/or yourself, a reduction in distress and a greater sense of clarity and contentment, can be very significant.

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