There are many benefits to working in a therapeutic relationship with a professional counsellor on an individual basis. It can be a relief to tell someone who is impartial about difficulties you have struggled with on your own. You may have a longstanding concern, be encountering new difficulties, or simply have a sense that something isn’t right.
What to expect from counselling
A professional can help to normalise your experience and place it in context, bring objectivity, critical distance, and experience of dealing with problems of all kinds. This often leads to seeing a problem in a new way, and feeling more able to get to grips with it.
The experience of counselling will begin with a single session in which you and your counsellor work together to make sense of your experience, to conceptualise your problems in new ways, and to think together about how you might move forward. Some problems are of a more complex and/ or long standing kind and meeting for further sessions may be appropriate, but the aim will be to always keep counselling as efficient and focused as possible.
Short term work has evidence-based support that for a large number of people, particularly those in the student age-group, it is an effective way of working. It is most common to have counselling sessions in consecutive weeks. However, you may find that it is useful to space sessions more widely to enable you to test out new ways of thinking and doing things in between.
Your counsellor can also help to identify where short term psycho-education workshops, group counselling and/ or self-help resources may have a role to play – however, these will not be relevant for everyone.