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What is counselling?
There are many definitions of counselling. One simple version is that The aim of our Counsellors is to support you as you work through your issues.
Counselling provides you with the opportunity to talk to someone who listens and is supportive. The counsellor will prompt in a non-judgemental manner with empathy and understanding, helping you to fully consider your issues and concerns, relationships, thoughts, feelings and behaviours, helping you to identify ways of coping and to have a more fulfilling future.
What Can I expect at my first session?
You'll no doubt feel uneasy at your first session and your counsellor will understand and be used to this. Remember this is the first step in making a happier life. A counsellor will see you in a private office at a convenient location. The office will be a comfortable and quiet environment for you to talk.
Your counsellor will tell you about the confidentiality of your session and then begin to ask questions to get a clearer understanding of your situation. They will then give you the opportunity to talk about why you have chosen to take counselling allowing the counsellor to understand the best options for future sessions. This whole process helps you to gain experience of working with a counsellor and is also the first step in developing trust between the two of you.
At the end of the session, your counsellor will ask if you wish to continue with counselling and agree a suitable number of future sessions. They may also suggest referral to other specialists or clinicians.
Many clients feel a sense of relief after their first session. This may be because the initial nervousness of the unknown has gone or because a weight has been lifted by beginning a process that will hopefully lead to a better life.
Is counselling for me?
Counselling is available to anyone and can help with a variety of issues and disorders. Many people are worried about what will happen to them mentally should they start to explore their psychological make-up but your counsellor is trained to help you through this.
Should a counsellor decide that your particular problem needs a different specialist they will advise you of this and arrange for a referral.
Counselling can be a positive way of addressing any unresolved issues that you have. It can help you to understand your problems better, rather than ignoring them and hoping that they will go away, only for them to come back later. It can also give you a better understanding of other people's points of view.
Do I need Counselling or Psychotherapy?
There is lots of debate around the terms counselling and psychotherapy. In general the argument and belief is that counselling is a short term relationship and psychotherapy is like counselling but longer term and more in depth. At Lancashire Counselling Services we offer both explanations of therapy as it is difficult to say that a client only needs counselling or more in-depth work from the start. We prefer to flow between the two as your needs and level of therapy will change throughout your sessions.
Is it important to have a female or male counsellor?
You may wish to have a preference to which gender you want as a counsellor and this may be related to some of the issues that you are seeking therapy. In our experience and in feedback from our clients is that gender of the counsellor has not been an issue. The feedback is that the deep level of relationship and empathy shown is the important factor. Lancashire Counselling’s co-ordinator will be happy to discuss this with you when you make the appointment.
How long is each session?
Each session will last up to 1 hour. It is advised that you arrive on time for your appointment as lateness may result in you missing out on the full hour.
Is counselling Confidential?
All your personal information is treated with the strictest of confidence and remains confidential between you and your counsellor. This is to enable you to feel safe and be able to gain trust your counsellor. Confidentiality is taken very seriously and the contract would only be broken in extreme circumstances for example, that you and your counsellor felt that you are another person was at risk of harm this. This will be discussed with you and a best plan will be agreed between you and the counsellor. This confidentiality policy is in accordance with the BACP (British association of counsellors and psychotherapists.)
Will the counsellor be fully qualified?
Lancashire Counselling services only employ qualified Counsellors and Psychotherapists. They are either Accredited counsellors or are working towards accreditation.
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