Counseling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment. It is a chance to talk over what is on your mind with an objective person. S/he can help you learn new skills and ways of looking at situations so that you will be more capable of solving problems on your own.
Counseling can often involve talking about difficult or painful feelings and, as you begin to face them, you may feel worse in some ways. However, with the help and support of your therapist, you should gradually start to feel better.
Counseling can be used to treat many different health conditions including:
- Drug misuse
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Long-term illnesses
- Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia
A common factor in most counseling situations is that the client is demoralized, distressed or otherwise in a negative state of mind about something. Counseling can be for one person or a group (typically couples and families) and may be delivered through a number of methods, from face-face dialogue, group work, telephone, email and written materials.
During your counseling sessions, you will be encouraged to express your feelings and emotions freely. By discussing your concerns with you, the counselor can help you to gain a better understanding of your feelings and thought processes, as well as identifying ways of finding your own solutions to problems.
Counseling is particularly common at transition points in a person’s life, where they are moving from the familiar to the strange, going from child to adult, single to married and so on. These changes can be difficult and the counselor can help their client successfully make the change, both emotionally and cognitively.