[BACP Member]

Copyright © 2006 - 2015 Allison Brown

What is Counselling?

The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) describe counselling as follows:

"Counselling takes place when a counsellor sees a client in a private and confidential setting to explore a difficulty the client is having, distress they may be experiencing or perhaps their dissatisfaction with life, or loss of a sense of direction and purpose. It is always at the request of the client as no one can properly be 'sent' for counselling."

This sounds fairly straight forward, however the ability for someone to be able to discuss and work through experiences that may be painful and to consider changes within their lives requires a relationship between them and their counsellor or therapist that is based on honesty, safety, mutual respect and support. This in turn can often create a relationship where difficult thoughts, feelings and experiences may be talked about and worked through.

Equally, as well as considering the past, counselling can be about present challenges in life and about empowering and supporting people to consider choices and make changes in their lives.

Therapists and Counsellors do not have magic wands to wave to heal all pain and provide advice on how to change someone else's life. What it does aim to do is support that other person to explore and understand what is going on for them and support change is appropriate. Therefore, Counselling and Psychotherapy can be challenging and difficult at times, however many people have described to me how enlightening, helpful and empowering therapy can be. I also know from my own personal experiences that therapy can be immensely helpful when based around a therapeutic relationship that has the strength and safety built in to allow exploration of both painful events and finding new ways forward in life.

I therefore believe that creating a non-judgemental and trusting relationship where people can safely explore any issue that is important to them underpins such successful therapeutic relationships. Such trusting relationships often allow many life experiences to be explored in counselling and I continually try to provide such a safe place for people to explore their many different thoughts and feelings and for me to be alongside them on their personal journeys.