Sometimes the difficulties we face in life seem to keep us stuck. Whatever we try, nothing seems to make a real difference. Even though family or friends may be well meaning, their advice does not help and can occasionally leave us feeling worse!
At times like this, many people find talking to an experienced, trained counsellor enables them to turn things around.
Counselling services provide an objective, confidential space where you can discover what it causing your stuckness and more importantly, identify strategies and solutions that enable you to turn things around and regain happiness and control in life.
How Does Counselling Work?
Counsellors are trained in theories that can help you understand problematic situations, habits or feelings which cause emotional and mental discomfort or distress. They are also equipped to show you methods and strategies that can facilitate your ability to tackle or remove problematic issues completely. When counselling is successful, people tend to experience feelings of relief from distressing emotional, increased confidence in dealing with life issues and overall increase in personal well being.
What do counselling sessions entail?
Counselling sessions usually involve meeting with a trained counsellor or psychotherapist, in a confidential environment, where you can discuss your concerns. Sessions commonly last about 50 minutes and are conducted on a weekly basis. However, people also can attend sessions that are longer, more frequent or less frequent, depending on the issues they are dealing with and the amount that might suit them best.
Research indicates, that you can get the best results, when you work with a counsellor that really “gets you”. The points below provide a brief description of the type of experience you could expect to have with an effective counsellor.
- The counsellor aims to understand the problems you are facing by asking you questions about your situation. You feel the counsellor really understands your situation and what they say makes sense to you personally. You should not feel confused.
- At the end of the initial session you feel the counselling work has a clear focus on the outcomes you want and you have a sense that the counsellor can help you achieve them. As counselling progresses, you should be feeling some relief/positivity during and after sessions. You should not be feeling excessively distressed, upset or confused during or after sessions.
- The counsellor helps you understand why and where you are getting stuck with problems or situations in your life. You start to gain a better awareness of how your feelings, habits and thinking may be influencing your life. Everything is getting clearer.
- Most importantly the counsellor helps you identify concrete steps you can take to move forward in your life, feel better and more in control. This process continues to the point where; you have improved things in your life to a level that feels good for you and you feel confident you can maintain this improvement as you continue into your future.
What Issues can counselling help?
There is considerable research evidence which demonstrates that counselling can help people address a wide range of problems, including those listed below:
How Long Does It Take?
The length of time you will find most helpful depends on a number of factors which include:
- The length of time you have been dealing with the problem
- The degree of change you wish to achieve
- Your level of self-confidence
Because every individual is unique, the number of sessions that might suit one person can be very different for another. However, there are some commonalities in certain instances:
Some people find one session may enough to get a handle on a specific situation in order to make a decision or gain some clarity.
Certain people find 6-12 sessions can be enough to get an understanding of a specific problem and establish some strategies which address the situation and relieve symptoms adequately.
Other people find 12-24 sessions enables them to tackle a number of issues, gain a deeper self-understanding, remove problematic habits and get good practice in to start making significant positive changes and turn arounds in their lives.
- 24 Sessions or More:
Some people find 24 sessions or more suits their needs much better. This length can help people really overcome and change habits which were learnt in earlier circumstances in life that were either very difficult, traumatic or complex in some form. Self-confidence can be rebuilt and considerable positive changes in personal well-being, success, ease and deeper happiness can be gained.
If you want to know what length of time might work best for you, your counsellor would be pleased to discuss this with you.
What Types of Counselling Are Most Effective?
There are hundreds of different types of counselling available and research indicates that the “type of counselling” is not a significant predictor of good outcomes. The most important factor is that you feel a good connection with the counsellor you choose.
However, there are some common counselling therapies practiced by most counsellors, which are listed below:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
At KlearMinds we practice integrative counselling because we find it give us the flexibility to be able to provide our clients with a range therapies that can be tailored to suit their individual needs best.
What Type of Therapist Can Provide Counselling Services
Counsellor (Counselor – US spelling): The best counsellor will have a recognised training in Counselling Theory and Skills as well as clinical experience in providing face-to-face Counselling. Historically counsellors typically provided brief interventions on specific problems such as stopping smoking or focused anxiety management. Nowadays many therapists who can provide counselling are also trained psychotherapists. This means they also have the ability to work with more complex and long standing problems. To know what they can offer you, it is important to check their credentials (see below).
Psychotherapist: A psychotherapist will have specific training in psychotherapy theory and skills as well as experience in face to face psychotherapy. Psychotherapy trainings have historically been longer than counselling training and therefore most psychotherapists are able to provide counselling.
Counselling Psychologist: A counselling psychologist has similar training to a Psychotherapist, but additionally will hold a degree in Psychology.
What Qualifications Should a Counsellor Hold
If you are seeking the best counselling in the UK, then you would want to look for a counsellor who has a recognised qualification and accreditation with one of the main governing bodies in this field in the UK. The largest of these are:
Meet Our Experienced Therapists
Maggie is an award winning psychotherapist, an accomplished life coach and counsellor, and Director of KlearMinds. In 2007 she was awarded the BACP National Award for advancing the quality of therapy service provision to the highest standards in the UK. Maggie’s experience spans over 20 years helping people overcome problems so they can enjoy more fulfilling and satisfying lives.
Paul Glynn holds over 30 years experience as a therapist and is KlearMinds Clinical Director. Paul offers a warm, pragmatic and interactive approach to help you understand and go beyond the difficulties you are facing. He is passionate about empowering clients to develop the tools that can help them to resolve stuckness and positively change repetitive, problematic behaviours.
Judy is a highly experienced psychotherapist. She utilizes a wide range of therapies, including CBT and psychoeducation to help her clients. She also holds considerable experience providing Career Coaching, Mindfulness Meditation and Mediation. Judy draws on a wealth of experiencing and works proactively with clients to help them understand and positively change patterns of thinking and behaviour which hold them back in life.
Andrea is a highly experienced relationship therapist and coach, with over 15 years clinical experience providing marriage and relationship counselling. She is passionate about empowering couples to be the best version of themselves and to live their best lives. She can help you and your partner to identify and address the root causes of problematic patterns which have a negative impact on your relationship.
Mita is a highly experienced psychotherapist and counsellor with over 20 years of clinical experience. She is passionate about helping clients overcome issues they have been struggling with for months and sometimes years. Mita draws upon a range of therapies including, CBT, Mindfulness and EMDR, which she tailors to best suit each client she works with.
London Counselling at KlearMinds
We have a team of highly trained and experienced counsellors working from our consulting rooms in the City of London and Kensington, West London. We work expertly and confidentially with a wide range of issues. View our locations by visiting the following links:
Further reading on Counselling
Click the following links for some self-help tips and useful information on counselling:
Which is best for you? Counselling, Psychotherapy or Life Coaching?
How to find a Psychotherapist, Counsellor or Life Coach
The Differences Between Counselling and Coaching – Infographic
This page was written by Maggie Morrow (MSc, BSc, Adv Dip, UKCP) and medically reviewed in June 2021.