What is a Counsellor?
A counsellor will use psychotherapy to help clients develop understanding and insight into their behaviours/feelings, with the aim of overcoming difficulties. In some cases the simple act of talking through difficulties with a counsellor can help the client, in other cases a more tailored therapy approach is required. This will depend on the nature of the concern and will be assessed by the counsellor. Similarly to psychotherapist, the term counsellor is not currently regulated by law - so you are advised to check a counsellor's experience and training to ensure they are suitably qualified.
How do I know if I need counselling?
Only you can decide whether you wish to try counselling or psychotherapy. Just talking to someone confidentially who is not a friend or family member can make all the difference. Counselling or psychotherapy provides a regular time for those in distress to explore their feelings and talk about their problems. A counsellor can help you develop better ways of coping, allowing you to live the life you deserve.
How many people in the UK have counselling or psychotherapy?
The figures are uncertain, however, the number of qualified counsellors has tripled in the last 10 years to keep up with demand. There are millions of people all over the world affected by mental health problems. Those who do not experience some form of mental distress at some time during their lives are probably fairly unusual and extremely lucky. Visit our facts and figures section to find out more.
What training, qualifications and experience should counsellors and psychotherapists have?
There are currently no laws in the UK regarding counselling and psychotherapy. However guidelines recommend that, in order to practice, counsellors should have completed at least an appropriate diploma, or completed a course that was a minimum of 400 hours therapy training.
How regularly will I see my counsellor or psychotherapist?
Many counsellors and psychotherapists offer weekly sessions, however this can vary depending on the type of therapy and your personal requirements.
What happens in a counselling session?
There is no typical counselling session. It is time set aside for you, and what you talk about will vary according to your needs. You are free to discuss what you wish, from everyday events, dilemmas, feelings, thoughts, regrets, aspirations, memories and dreams. Your counsellor will provide a safe environment in which to explore your issues and work towards your self-improvement. If you prefer to approach your issues in a more practical way, then cognitive behavioural therapy may be a good choice.