Counselling is one of the methods used by psychologists to help a person resolve any type of issue with purposeful conversation. Through counselling the experts identify realistic solutions to any recognized problem; the problems that are discussed can be related to personality, family, vocational or health issues.

This method demands maximum participation by the client. The counselor listens to all the problems and guides the client by suggesting possible solutions.

Counselling involves an empathetic approach and a strong relationship between the counsellor and the client; the counsellor has to focus on the client’s problems and ensure that the client is comfortable enough to express and communicate their feelings. There should be an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence to ensure that the process is effective.

Mental health Counselling is generally a treatment that is focused on behaviour.  It targets a particular symptom or problematic situation and offers suggestions and advice for dealing with it.

Why seek counselling?

  • Discuss distressing experiences/ situations  in a safe setting
  • Bereavement
  • Separation
  • Other major life transitions
  • Experiences from the past
  • Specific psychological or behavioural traits requiring alteration or management
  • Create meaning in life
  • Undertake personal development

Benefits of counselling

  • Decreased defensiveness
  • Increased self-expression
  • Improved relationships
  • Increased self-esteem

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was originally developed over three decades ago to mediate between external stimuli, and emotions.  A stimulus will initiate a thought, and then that thought will in turn give rise to an emotion.  A stimulus does not give rise to an emotion, the thought process intervenes.  Cognitive therapy suggests that psychological distress is caused by distorted thoughts about stimuli giving rise to distressed emotions.  Cognitive therapy is well developed and empirically supported; especially in the case of depression. Depressed clients experience unduly negative thoughts that arise automatically; even in response to stimuli that should be experienced as positive.  Cognitive therapy aims to help the client become aware of thought distortions which are causing psychological distress.

Who does CBT work best for?

  • Clients who are comfortable with introspection
  • Those who readily adopt the scientific method
  • Depression
  • Anxiety patients
  • Panic disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

page last updated 30 December, 2013

page created 16 May, 2013

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