What is counselling?

Counselling is a talking therapy which aims to help people make sense of their emotions or the situations in which they find themselves and, in turn, bring about effective change and a greater sense of wellbeing.

It offers a safe, confidential environment where individuals can unpack their thoughts and feelings with a trained practitioner who will listen attentively, empathically and without judgement to what’s being said.


How does it work?

The counselling process is a very personal one and for that reason it unfolds differently for each person according to their needs, circumstances and background. At its heart though, it is about concentrated talking and listening, the process of which enables the client to get a better overview of their problems and find ways to move forward with more insight, assuredness and enthusiasm.

Through a combination of emotional support, exploring life patterns (both past and present) and increased awareness, individuals start to see their lives, situations and relationships with more clarity and understanding. In turn, connections become more apparent and choices become clearer.

Counselling is not a cure-all. It will not stop the inevitable curve-balls that life throws us or prevent any feelings of emotional pain, but it can help people recognise the true source of that pain and realise the resources they have within themselves to process and live life more wholeheartedly.

Why see a professional counsellor?

Friends and family can be a great support in difficult times, but not all of us have such people in our lives, and even if we do, they’re not necessarily the best people to turn to.

Many loved ones, for the sincerest of reasons, have their own agenda when it comes to your life choices. They may feel it is your best interests to feel or act in a certain way and those views may colour the way they respond to your concerns.

Unless it is a clear and explicit part of their therapeutic approach, most counsellors will not tell you what to do – in fact, it is the core belief of many that you are the greatest expert on yourself and that their job is to merely unlock the resources that already lie within you. A counsellor may well explore options, motives and potential outcomes with you, but they are less likely to advise a course of action.

Equally, a counsellor is not going to tell you how you should be feeling. Our feelings are what they are and it’s important we pay attention to them – they are crucial indicators of the state of our emotional health and can help us uncover any internal blocks or conflicts that might be holding us back. What a counsellor can do is help you explore these emotions, what’s behind them, how you act as a result of them and the ways in which you might work through them for a greater sense of wellbeing.


It may be that you feel embarrassed or ashamed about your problems or the ways you respond to them. You might not want to let family and friends in on what you’re feeling or doing for fear of rejection, ridicule, disgust, gossip or the worry that they may regard you as having failed somehow.

A counsellor listens without judgement; their only concern is how they can help and support you. Nobody is all good or all bad – each of us is a complex picture built up from life experiences, cultural backdrops and family structures that make us think, feel and act the way we do. It is part of the counsellor’s role to help you understand that picture, in confidence and with empathy and acceptance, to best support you through the process.


Family and friends might just have too much going on, too many of their own issues to be able to fully support you with yours. Or, they might just be lousy listeners!

One of the major benefits of counselling is that each session is about you and you alone. No one is going to weigh in with their own problems, start comparing notes or listen with half an ear while they do something else. You don’t have to feel as though you are taking up too much of the conversation with your own worries: this is dedicated time for you - and all credit to you for taking it. The world would probably be a much safer, happier place if more people took the time to sit with their pain and develop the insight and understanding to work through their personal struggles.

It’s a very powerful feeling to be listened to properly – uninterrupted with the listener’s full commitment to really hearing your story; understanding you properly and getting a true sense of your concerns and perspectives. It is not overstating the fact to say that being truly listened to, can be a highly therapeutic part of counselling in itself.

Let's talk

If you would like to talk, please contact me. Alternatively, feel free to read more about me and my practice.


Counselling can help with:

- Anxiety and Panic

- Depression

- Stress

- Bereavement & Loss

- Relationships

- General Dissatisfaction

- Low Self-Esteem

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