Many people turn to counselling at a turning point in their lives; when nothing makes sense; when their focus is turned in so much on their problem that nothing else seems important; and when they recognise that they need help.

Some people are directed to therapy by an external source, such as family, the courts, employers or friends. In these cases, the person involved may not realise that they have a problem, or they have learnt to cover it up (or at least think they have), or maybe like the problem and the attention it brings.

The specific situation can vary so much – one man’s worry is another man’s joy. Examples of these conditions might be addiction such as drink, drugs, sex; anxiety, stress and depression which are also very prevalent in today’s society; emotional issues such as divorce, loss, and change in circumstance can bring about many problems. There may be problems that hold a person back, from being the person they can or perhaps want to be. Relationships, sex, abuse, and violence can and do play a part in someone’s reason for seeking therapy.

Counselling is talking therapy - therapy for the mind. Counselling allows people to learn to deal with their feelings, thoughts and anxieties.

Counselling is the relationship between therapist and client that allows the client to learn to deal with their thoughts, feelings, desires and anxieties. Counselling is a way of looking at yourself in a different way perhaps than before.

Counselling is talking therapy, a therapy for the mind.

What are the essential elements of counselling?

Firstly, unconditional positive regard. You are a human, a unique person with the right to live, the right to be, and this is how I will treat you. Always.

Secondly, honesty. I will always be honest with you.

Thirdly, empathy. I may not have experienced what you have been through, but I will try to see your world through your eyes.

Counselling is not sympathy, it is not a friendly chat over a cup of tea. It is a dynamic way of talking through your problems, of seeing yourself in a different way, of finding resolution. Counselling takes place in a safe environment where everything you say is strictly confidential.

What is counselling? It is a skilled therapist listening to your story, no judging, no agenda, just positive regard for you, honesty and empathy.