What is Counselling?

Counselling also known as ‘Talking Therapies’ is somewhere to share and explore your thoughts, feelings and problems in confidence with someone who is trained to listen. Counsellors should listen without judging you and explore your problems with you, but not tell you what you should do. Counsellors often specialise in certain areas such as sexual abuse, depression, anxiety, bereavement or working with certain age groups such as children, young people or adults.

It is a confidential and safe place for you to talk, and your counsellor should not talk to others about you without your permission unless they are concerned that you or someone else are at serious risk, such as suicide. If possible the counsellor will discuss with you why they need to talk to someone else.

Not all counselling is the same, there are many different methods, theories and approaches, an A-Z list is available at Types of Therapy | BACP It's Good to Talk.

In the initial session you will discuss what is on offer, why you are looking for counselling and what you hope to gain. You can also get answers to any questions you may have about counselling. Counselling usually takes place weekly on the same day and at the same time as agreed and last for approximately 50 minutes to one hour. Some services offer free counselling.

Your counsellor will either be qualified and taking ongoing training or in the process of qualifying. Most reputable and trained counsellors are registered and/or accredited with a professional body. You can check with the professional body they specify that they are a member.

If you feel that counselling is not working or you don’t feel comfortable when speaking with your counsellor, you may want to find another counsellor. If you have a complaint about how you have been treated by your counsellor you can discuss this with the service they work for or the organisation that they are a member of.

Local support groups and organisations in and around Hounslow