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What is Counselling?
Counselling provides a safe and confidential space for someone to talk to a trained professional who will use their skills to help a client understand or explore their emotional problems. A counsellor will help the client explore their thoughts, feelings and behaviours so they can develop a better understanding of themselves and of others. A counsellor will not give you their opinions or advice or prescribe medication instead they will help the client find their own solutions to achieve the change they seek.
Why is confidentiality important in Counselling?
All properly trained therapists will listen to you in confidence. This is imperative for the work together between client and counsellor in order that the client feels empowered to share and disclose what they need to in order to move forward, safe in the knowledge that this will remain solely between them. However, there are certain circumstances (for example, if there is concern a client may hurt themselves or others) when they may feel they have to break the confidentiality. Many therapists will talk the client through the limits to confidentiality during the first session.
Why are Boundaries important in Counselling?
Boundaries are agreed limits, within which psychological safety is provided, and it is the responsibility of the therapist to maintain them. They may also be seen as implicit and explicit ‘rules’ which are part of the formal nature of all therapy. They protect both clients and therapists.
Boundaries enable the client to experience the therapy relationship as one where there are formal roles ,a relationship that differs from a one-off conversation with a stranger, or confiding in a friend. Boundaries maintain clear standards of therapy and protect the client from poor or unethical practice. Setting up, monitoring and maintaining boundaries is the responsibility of the therapist, and is part of their ethical practice. This ensures the client feels comfortable and feels able to talk about any experiences or feelings, even if they seem taboo, frightening or embarrassing.
What is an Ethical Framework in Counselling?
Counsellors have a duty of care to their clients, and clients should expect their therapist to always act in their best interests. The client needs to be confident that the service they receive will be ethical as well as effective. Trust is central to the profession of counselling and psychotherapy. There is a consensus of ethical standards of practice in the counselling/ psychotherapy profession, which includes the principle ‘doing no harm’ Counsellor’s work within an Ethical Framework such as the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) to keep the client safe by putting the client at the centre of all they do through maintaining integrity whilst showing respect and working without judgement. In essence the Ethical Framework is there to ensure the best outcome for the client through adherence to professional standards
What's the difference between Counsellors and Psychotherapists?Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. Both of whom work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change and/or enhance their wellbeing. Getting a good “fit” between what is being offered and what you need is very important.
Counsellor and Psychotherapist are generic terms that cover therapists providing a wide variety of psychological help. They are likely to help clients understand themselves, their behaviours and relationships with others. Generally, sessions last between 50 minutes to an hour, and are likely to be weekly, although this can be negotiated. Therapists may use specialist techniques, for example, an art therapist would use art as a means of exploring feelings and thinking, and others may offer specialist treatment, for example, for addiction or depression.