There are times in life when we just can’t deal with all the problems that life presents us with on our own. The problems may be events that are currently happening in our lives or from an earlier time. Whether they are current issues or ones from the past, the effect they have on your life now can be improved if not resolved completely with the help of talking therapies.
It may be too distressing to talk about such problems with friends and family. Perhaps you don’t want to burden them with your issues, or maybe don’t feel confident enough to discuss them with someone so close.
At times like these the services of a professional counsellor can help. In this blog article we look at the benefits a counselling service can offer you and how to go about finding a counsellor.
What does a counsellor do?
There are a number of methods used by counsellors to help their clients work through an issue. Whilst it is outside of the scope of this article to discuss these methods in depth, what we can learn is that all of these methods are all various forms of talking therapy.
We spoke to Karyn McLouglin, a qualified counsellor offering counselling services in Preston. Karyn told us ‘In the counselling sessions I offer, I provide a neutral and safe environment where my clients are free to discuss as much or little as they feel comfortable with. I help to lead my clients to the answers to their issues. In some cases my clients already know these answers, but in complicated and often distressing situations cannot immediately see them. In other cases the client reaches these answers as a result of the talking about the issues in the therapy sessions.’
Karyn’s approach is typical of many counsellors, especially where she allows clients the freedom to discuss their issues as and when they are ready to. It may take you a couple of sessions with your counsellor before you feel ready to discuss the issues you are facing. This is perfectly fine, whilst your counsellor wants to help you as much as possible, they will never expect you to discuss issues until you are ready to do so.
How do I contact a counsellor?
A good starting point is to visit your GP. They may be able to refer you to a local counselling service that is part of the NHS. Sadly these services are often very overstretched in many parts of the country and you may have to wait for a considerable period of time before you can get an appointment.
If this is the case you can seek help from a counsellor privately. You will need to pay for this service but this could be worth it when faced with a long waiting time for NHS services. If you would like to find a counsellor near to you, your GP may be able to provide you with contact details of counsellors in your area. You can also visit the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) website http://www.bacp.co.uk/. The BACP has a register of counsellors who are all accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
What do I say when I call them?
First of all, if you are going to visit your GP to ask for counselling or if you’re contacting a counsellor directly, well done. You’ve already conquered one of the hardest things. Seeking help is a major hurdle on the way to resolving the issues you face.
You may find that your GP contacts the counsellor on your behalf. If you need to contact the counsellor for yourself, you only really need to leave your name and contact number and ask for a call back. Most counsellors use an answer phone to take details of their calls. This ensures that their counselling sessions are not disturbed. It also takes the pressure off you. When the counsellor returns your call they may ask for general details of the issue you wish to discuss.
Thank you for reading our article. We hope that it has helped you find the information you need to take the next step.