Introduction to Counselling
At times in people’s lives, they may experience emotional distress and pain from various factors: life changes, divorce, redundancy or bereavement. This may cause a struggle on how to find a solution, to make sense of things, or to find a way forward. Counselling may help the individual make sense of things because counselling means talking with an unbiased listener in a confidential, non-judgmental, supportive and respectful environment. Counselling is also a process with a beginning, middle and an end (initiating, maintaining and concluding), where the counsellor helps an individual to consider the aspects of their life they wish to change. This is to enable the client to explore a difficult or distressing situation that they may be experiencing, with support by the counsellor whose main role is to assist the client to make his or her own decisions on how to proceed. Through this process, the counsellor will attempt to guide the client from feeling a victim of circumstances to feeling that they have more control over their life.
As with any professional relationship the setting of boundaries is important. All relationships should be limited to a therapeutic setting, and all social contact between a counsellor and client should be avoided. A counsellor should also never accept a friend or family member as a client, or enter into a sexual relationship with a current or former client. These boundaries form part of the contractual agreement between a counsellor and client and must be adhered to at all times. A client should always feel safe in a counselling relationship, there should not be any unwanted touching, or interaction that the client feels is inappropriate. Counsellors like to begin and end sessions on time, therefore providing a space set aside just for clients, where the boundaries are clear.
In order that the client feels comfortable in expressing him/herself in an uninhibited way, the relationship between...