What is counselling?
Counselling is classed as one of the ‘talking therapies’. It gives people the opportunity to discuss their problems, thoughts and feelings in a safe and confidential environment. People often seek counselling when they are facing difficulties and want to make a change in their lives. It involves talking to someone who is there for you, on a professional basis, to help you explore your thoughts, ideas and feelings in greater depth.
Counsellors will not tell you what to do or direct you in how you are to behave. Instead, they will help you to uncover what has led you to feel unhappy or unsettled in your current circumstances. Openly examining your thoughts and feelings will help you to work together to formulate and implement a plan that will lead to change. This may involve finding ways to better cope with your challenges or making changes to the way you respond and react to your life situations.
What to expect from counselling?
Your first appointment
It is common to feel a little anxious about your first session. It is not a small matter to meet with a professional and open up about what you are thinking and feeling. Hopefully this information will help aleviate some of your concerns.
In your first session, I will ask you a number of questions to gain an understanding of what is on your mind and how you perceive your situation. This will help me to structure future sessions.
The kind of questions I might ask include:
Why are you seeking counselling and what are you hoping to gain from it?
This is an opportunity to express why you are here and what you are hoping to gain from counselling.
What is your current situation and personal history?
This information helps to create a clearer picture of what you are going through and what kind of past influences may be affecting how you are currently handling your situation.
What symptoms are you experiencing?
Sometimes we may experience physical symptoms as well as psychological ones – the mind-body system works together promote wellbeing and it is common for emotional and psychological problems to manifest in a physical way.
The more honest you are and the more detail you share here can be a really big help in working together to find a helpful path forward.
How can counselling help?
Freedom and safety
For many, just having a safe and confidential environment in which you can speak openly and honestly is all it takes. So often, we hold back from saying what is really on our minds, even though we know it would do us good, because we don’t want to upset or offend others. We can also be fearful about being pushed away or rejected. So we hold it in… but that is rarely a good solution to living a fulfilled life.
Counselling eliminates this dilemma and gives you the freedom to speak your mind with someone whose role it is to be unbiased and objective. Another part of their role is to facilitate your own understanding and intuition around your problems, and offer tools and models to help you to resolve them.
In most cases, a number of sessions will ideally be booked in order to help overcome any issues you’re facing. Counselling takes time and consistency to work effectively together, leaving time between the appointment for you to reflect and implement what we discuss. Many people choose to book regular counselling sessions to make the most of the process. Six sessions is a common starting point but not in every case. We can discuss this on your first appointment.
My approach to counselling follows the Transactional Analysis approach to psychotherapy. This model is very easy to understand and offers great insight into what makes us tick. Most sessions involve a little bit of education so that you can use this framework to make sense of what is going in with you.
The various ways to receive counselling
This is when you make an appointment to see a counsellor in person. Face-to-face sessions are the most popular therapy formats because they provide the ideal environment for you to talk honestly and discuss any emotions that may arise.
People often choose to see a counsellor by themselves, but joining a counselling group with people experiencing similar issues can be a very helpful way to develop and grow. Learning from others and being connected to others is part and parcel of being human. Being part of a group which is focussed on making similar changes together can be a very rich and supportive experience
Telephone counselling is an alternative to face-to-face counselling which may be more convenient for some. If you are simply too busy to attend regular face-to-face appointments, this form of counselling can be particularly useful as it can be carried out in the comfort of your own home. It is also more flexible and appointments can be organised at times when a clinic might typically be closed.
Similar to telephone counselling, this alternative offers the opportunity of counselling from the comfort of your own home but still being able to virtually speak face-to-face. This system also allows more flexibility with appointments times.
How do I get started?
Free 15 Min Chat
Sometimes it's nice to touch base with your counsellor before your first meeting. If you would like to chat on the phone before booking an appointment, simply call, leave a message or email us and we will call you back.
Appointments are available in Cambridge and Huntingdon at various times throughout the week. Click here to make a booking and you will be directed to my physiotherapy clinic booking system. Select 'Matt Taylor' and 'counselling'.
The first appointment gives us both an opportunity to work out whether we might be able to successfully work together. It is also when we establish what it is you want from the therapy - your requirements and aims.
Ask a question or book an appointment below.