The Counseling Process may consist of one to several sessions.

Session

The length of the sessions is usually 1 hour, when required 1 1/2 hours.

The number of sessions depends on several factors e.g. the type of problem, willingness to change, availability to attend regular sessions, and many other variables.

Individual sessions may, at some point, include other people such as relatives, if necessary.

Family sessions may include all members of the family together and/or it may include various combinations at different times.

Couple counselling may include seeing the couple the first time, and then individually, then back together again.

Group Sessions may be held for a half or full day or take place in the evenings, e.g. 3 consecutive Tuesdays.

Homework between sessions is a key component to accomplishing your goals and making your counseling experience more effective.

Who is a Counselor?

  1. professional who counsels people, especially on personal problems.
  2. A licensed and professionally trained counselor.

A counselor would provide people with time, attention and a safe, confidential environment to help them explore their feelings. The client would not get advice, but would encourage him to look at the options and find his own solutions for positive change. This could be for many reasons, including relationship difficulties, bereavement, or wanting to improve the way they deal with everyday life.

You would tend to use one particular theoretical approach to counseling, such as person-centered, humanistic or psychodynamic. You might work with clients with a wide range of issues, or specialize in an area such as eating disorders or addiction.

In most areas of counseling, you would:

  • Build a relationship of trust and respect with clients.
  • Agree a ‘counseling contract’ to establish what will be covered in sessions.
  • Encourage clients to talk about the feelings that have made them seek counseling.
  • Listen carefully, ask questions and clarify your understanding of the client’s situation.
  • Empathize with the client’s issues, but challenge them when necessary.
  • Help clients to see things more clearly or from different perspectives.
  • Refer clients to other sources of help if appropriate.
  • Attend regular supervision and counseling sessions.
  • Keep confidential records.

In most cases you would counsel clients face-to-face on a one-to-one basis, but you could also work with couples, families or groups, or counsel people over the phone or internet.