Counselling is a form of therapy, consisting of talking to someone who is trained to listen empathically in a supportive and confidential environment. It can help clarify thoughts and feelings about unsettling situations, and gently navigate a constructive way forward.
The BACP definition of counselling/psychotherapy states: "Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change and/or enhance their wellbeing."
In the media lately we've seen pleas from sports personalities, celebrities, and even members of the Royal Family, for deeper understanding and compassion around mental health issues. In the increasingly stressful world we all live in there are many things that can throw us temporarily off balance. One in four people will experience depression or anxiety and this can have a knock on negative effect on our physical heath as well. The importance of looking after mental health is greater than ever.
Each one of us goes through painful times at some point in life; and being able to turn to friends or family for support can be invaluable. Sometimes though, this support may not be enough and counselling can be of help in offering new perspectives - a place to press pause for a moment, to breathe, to reflect and be heard.
To be a good counsellor, you need proper training, patience and empathy. You’re not trying to force someone to a solution. You are accepting someone, with compassion; exactly as they are at that moment. And through respectfully understanding each individual’s situation you gently help to move towards positive change.
Further useful information about counselling, as well as details of qualified and vetted counsellors in your area, can be found on www.bacp.co.uk and on www.counselling-directory.org.uk . The organisation Mind also offer excellent advice and mental health support www.mind.org.uk
No one should ever be alone with their worries because there is always someone at the end of the phone. When in crisis call the Samaritans freephone +44 116 123 www.samaritans.org If you’re feeling suicidal please tell someone and get help. The following NHS link contains important guidelines www.nhs.uk/conditions/suicide
There is also a National Grief Helpline available through CRUSE: 0808 808 1677 www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk
People come to my practice in Harrogate for all sorts of reasons. I’ve been privileged to offer counselling to people during many difficult moments. I’m qualified and experienced to work with a broad range of issues including:
Please note this is not an exhaustive list; and beyond any issues we may be experiencing we are all complex human beings with many gifts to share with the world.