“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be…when I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, ‘soften the orange a bit on the right-hand corner.’ I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds”
Carl Rogers, A Way of Being
And for me this is what counselling is all about.
Carl Rogers is the founder of Person-Centred Counselling, the foundation of how I work. This is your journey, your story, your process. My role is to walk aside you, stopping and exploring as we go. This video helps to explain more about Carl Rogers and his approach.
Many times, I have heard the counsellor role referred to as ‘easy’ and that we ‘just sit pretending to care’…this could not be further from the truth. So, if you are wondering what counselling is, what a counsellor does and whether you should embark on the journey read on…
What is counselling? What does a counsellor do?
A relationship of trust
Confidentiality is paramount to successful counselling. Being able to explore and express your feelings, emotions and behaviour in a safe, non-judgemental environment is essential for a trusting relationship to grow.
Where a process occurs
When a client and a counsellor set aside time to explore difficult emotions an experience a process begins. Being heard and having someone ‘get’ you, being able to stand in your shoes and feel it with you is a powerful experience. The process of healing begins with being heard.
Helping the you see things more clearly
As you describe your experience, I may be able to offer a different way of seeing the situation. When we have a problem or uncomfortable feelings they can go around and around in our heads. The old saying ‘a problem shared in a problem halved’ is very true. Reframing and refocusing experiences can be extremely helpful.
What counselling is not:
Attempting to sort out your problems
Basing your problems on my own perspective and valuing system
Encouraging the you to behave the way I would.
No two people are the same
We all experience the world in our own way. No two people understand the same language in the same way; their experience will always be linked to their own personal experience of the world. My role is to help you to develop your own understanding of the situation.
My job is to help you explore aspects of your life by talking open and freely. Talking like this is rare with family or friends who are emotionally involved and therefore will have opinions which may affect the discussion. Talking to a counsellor allows you the opportunity to express difficult feelings such as resentment, guilt and fear within a safe and confidential environment.
I may encourage you to examine parts of your life that you may have found difficult or impossible to face before. We may explore early childhood experiences to throw some light on why an you may react or respond in a certain way. This is often followed by considering ways in which you can change such behaviours.
Carl Rogers suggested that if I am able to offer you the ‘core conditions’ of unconditional positive regard (fully accepting of you and what you bring), empathy (walking in your shoes and understanding your experience through your eyes) and being congruent (being genuine and honest) then the process of therapeutic change can start to begin.
Good counselling should reduce your confusion allowing you to make effective decisions leading to positive change in behaviour and attitude. The aim of counselling is to enable you to make your own choices, reach your own decisions and act upon them.
A final thought
Counselling is rooted in the principle that you can help yourself provided you are given the right kind of support. I am not here to tell you what to do, or how to do it but to help you reach a way forward that leads to a happier, more fulfilled way of being.
Evolving and becoming who you are meant to be (like a sunset) is something to cherish and protect.
If you would you like to discuss how counselling can help you please book a 30 minute free session here
Please also take a look at the FAQ page if you have any questions.