Counselling is a relationship formed specifically to help enable an individual, couple or group to work through a difficult situation. The counsellor uses his/her skills and experience to help explore thoughts and feelings which are being stirred up in you, so that you can get a better understanding of why the situation is impacting you the way it is.
The counselling relationship is founded upon trust and confidentiality. It is the counsellor’s responsibility to create a place where you can relax, be yourself, and feel safe enough to talk about feelings and events which may be quite difficult to put into words, or which you may never have told anyone about before. Many people say they find it freeing to have this space to talk about themselves and what is happening in their lives, free from the guilt of burdening a friend or family member by “going on” about their problems.
Counselling is not about giving you advice or telling you what to do. Its aim is to enable you to come to a deeper understanding of yourself and the effects which certain events or life experiences have had on you. This understanding can then become the starting-point for finding the confidence to make life changes or develop new coping strategies.
The foundation of the counselling relationship is confidentiality. There are a few situations in which counsellors are legally obliged to disclose things shared with them in confidence. You can view those here: Exceptions to Confidentiality
Counsellors are required to have ‘supervision’. This means meeting regularly with another counsellor to discuss their workload and their personal wellbeing. This may involve mentioning clients they are working with, but any discussion of this nature would be in absolute confidence,.
I am a member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, and abide by the ethical guidelines which they have set in place. You can view these here: B.A.C.P. Ethical Guidelines