Are you empathetic and trustworthy? Do you enjoy listening to others? By becoming a Counsellor, you could offer people the chance to explore their feelings in a safe, non-judgemental environment.
What do they do?
Counsellors offer people a safe, non-judgemental and confidential environment to work through any issues that they might have. People may seek out individual counselling or they may wish to receive counselling as a couple, or as a family. A Counsellor won’t give clients advice; but will actively listen, ask questions which can help clients explore their feelings, and offer empathy.
Some people come to counselling with a clear idea about what they want to talk about, for example, a particularly traumatic event or stress at work. Other people may come to counselling to work through a period of depression, or because they want to explore a general feeling that something in their lives isn’t quite right. Counselling can help people come to terms with their feelings and consider alternative ways of doing things so that they can make positive changes to their lives.
The number of counselling sessions a client has may very, but will typically take place over 6-12 sessions – although sometimes longer depending on what the client needs.
A Counsellor’s responsibilities typically include:
- Encouraging clients to talk about issues they may struggle to share with others.
- Listening and empathising with clients in an unbiased manner.
- Building trusting relationships with clients so that they feel they have a safe place to open up.
- Agreeing an action plan with clients in the first session – to determine realistic goals what they want to achieve.
- Helping clients better understand their feelings and patterns of behaviour.
- Supporting clients in making positive decisions going forward.
- Referring clients to other sources of help, where necessary.
- Liaising with other professionals such as GPs, hospital staff and community mental health teams when appropriate – always respecting patient confidentiality.
- Keeping records of counselling sessions and client progress.
- Suggesting coping strategies that clients can use outside of counselling sessions.
Most Counsellors work with clients face-to-face, but sometimes there are opportunities to counsel people online or over the phone.