Counselling is at times demanding, frustrating, emotional and, just simply, a difficult process. However, it gives you time-out from your world and allows you to talk about any issues you want to.
It’s also rewarding and can turn your life around. You just need the right environment to discuss any issues affecting your wellbeing. These issues typically revolve around the events and reactions that are currently affecting you.
Initial sessions also deal with identifying your goals and expectations for therapy.
A counselling session lasts for 50 minutes.
How often you attend counselling and how long your treatment lasts largely depends on the type of issues you, your family or friends are facing. Typically, a treatment plan is discussed during the initial consultations and agreed between you and the therapist.
During a session, the therapist may take on the role of a guide, facilitating your transition into change. For therapy to be of benefit, your active involvement in the change process plays a key role.
What’s the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
‘Psychotherapy’ and ‘counselling‘ are often used interchangeably. Although very similar, there are some subtle differences.
- Helps people identify problems and crises and encourages them to take positive steps to resolve them.
- Is the best course of therapeutic treatment for anyone who already has an understanding of wellbeing, and who is also able to resolve problems.
- Is a short-term process that encourages change in behaviour.
- Helps people with psychological problems that have built up over the course of a long period of time.
- Helps you understand your feelings, thoughts and actions more clearly.
- Is a longer-term process of treatment that identifies emotional issues and the background to problems and difficulties
How do I choose the right therapist?
Are you unsure of what you need to ask when looking for a therapist?
Here are some questions to ask a counsellor before committing to a contract. These questions are from the Australian Counselling Association website.
- Do you abide by a code of conduct (ethics) that outlines my rights? Can I have a copy?
- Do you have professional indemnity insurance?
- Are you a financial, registered member of a National Professional Body of Counsellors?
- Do you receive regular Professional Supervision?
- What organisation(s) are you a member of? Is it a national organisation?
- What are your hours and do I need an appointment?
- What are your hourly rates and are there any other costs involved?
- How long is a normal counselling session? (Sessions should be around 50 minutes on average)
- What happens if the session goes over time?
- Do you take notes during the session and if you do, what happens to them? Do I have access to read them and if not, why?
- What are your counselling qualifications and are they recognised? (All non-tertiary Diplomas should be accredited through a state government authority, eg VETEC, VETAB, VEET)