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Counselling is a type of therapy, carried out through conversation and aims to provide professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems.


Sometimes it can be difficult for individuals to have the capability and clarity to remove themselves from a difficult situation and detach themselves from their emotions in order to evaluate and overcome them. In these cases counselling can be very useful as this kind of therapy is designed to help individuals understand and come to terms with the problems they are facing and work towards overcoming them.


A talking therapy like counselling allows the individual to discuss their issues and feelings with a professional in a safe, non-judgemental and confidential environment.


Counselling can be used to help with a multitude of problems such as:


  • Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety

  • A difficult physical health condition, such as infertility

  • Difficult life events, such as bereavement

  • Difficult emotions, such as anger or low self-esteem

  • Other issues, such as sexual identity or addiction


A trained therapist will ask you to talk about your thoughts, feelings and emotions, and they in turn will listen to you and support you in a non-judgmental way. The therapist is there to help you understand your feelings, unravel your thought process and guide you to finding your own solutions. Counselling isn’t about telling someone what to do, but rather helping you to discover it on your own.


Counselling can take place in a number of different environments:


  • Face-to-face and one on one – you can make an appointment with a counsellor and have a face to face meeting.

  • Within a group – there are counselling groups available where you would meet with other individuals that are experiencing similar issues to you.

  • Over the phone – sometimes you might not be ready for face-to-face counselling, or you might not have the time to go to an appointment, so telephone counselling can be a good option.

  • Via email – another option for those that might not want a face-to-face appointment, or for those that are too busy to get to one.

  • Online – if you’d prefer to remain anonymous, or you don’t want a face-to-face appointment there’s also the online option.


Counselling sessions can range from a single meeting, a short course that might last a few weeks, or a longer course that can last for several months or years. Some individuals find that it takes a few sessions before you start to see any kind of progress.


If you’re in the UK you can get free counselling for depression on the NHS. There’s also:


  • Private counselling – you pay to see a private therapist. Make sure to check that they are qualified first by seeing if they are registered with a professional organisation that is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

  • Charities and voluntary organisations – some of these groups can offer counselling.

  • Support groups – these can be found locally through your community, church or social services.                                                                                                                                                   



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