Counselling falls under the umbrella term ‘talking therapies’ and allows individuals or couples to discuss their problems and any feelings they experience in a safe, confidential environment. The word counselling can mean different things to different people. However, one main factor in all different types of therapy is that individuals seek it out when they are experiencing distress.
There are many hundreds of different types of ‘talking therapies’ for example, existential counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy and online counselling to name a few. Each therapy has its own unique system of delivering therapy in order to aid the individual.
How does counselling work?
When someone is in distress the thing they are seeking is relief from the pain. We can talk to our friends or family and this may help in some way, however, they may not be the ideal person to discuss such personal matters. For example, the individual may not want friends and family to know as they may judge them or they may even try to give them advice that may not help.
Maybe the person just wants someone to listen objectively, someone who has no self-interest, someone who will not judge them, someone that will understand the psychology of emotional pain.
A professionally trained counsellor can provide all these things and more as well as private and confidential space for the client. Counselling works because as human beings we need certain conditions in order to be able to talk openly and honestly and to be heard with full intention. This is when we can start to heal.
The relationship between the client and the therapist is one of the key components of any therapeutic success. Finding the write therapist that can work with you and that you can work alongside them will be of paramount importance.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
One of the most commonly used forms of psychotherapy that is utilised by therapist including the NHS is cognitive behaviour therapy. CBT is a short-term evidence based psychological treatment that has demonstrated to be effective in treating a wide range of problems including anxiety, depression, addictions, OCD and eating disorders.
How CBT helps
The basic premise of CBT is that it helps individuals recognize negative or unhelpful thoughts and behaviour patterns. This is based on the belief that thoughts, emotions and actions are connected.
For example, how you think and feel about someone can affect your behaviour towards them.
Some people when they become stressed may view situations very differently and then make choices that they wouldn’t normally make. Once an individual learns how to recognize their internal dialogue they can then start to make the positive changes.
Some common issues that counselling and CBT can help with:
- Relational distress
- Panic attacks
- Difficulties sleeping
- Obsessive compulsive disorder