Counselling is a type of therapy that involves you and a therapist talking about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours openly and honestly. This can lead to healing from past trauma or other difficult periods in life. Counsellors are skilled listeners who will never judge you for what they hear or share with them. They may help you identify patterns in your life that have been holding you back so they can be changed for the better. 

This blog post will answer many common questions about counselling, including how it works, why people go into counselling, and the steps you can take to pursue counselling as a career

What is counselling?

Counselling helps people deal with their thoughts and emotions by talking about what is happening in their lives. Sometimes, just having someone else listen to you can help you feel better! It's important that the counsellor has good boundaries because they are not there to solve your problems for you but rather provide an opportunity for you to work on them together. 

Today, there has never been a greater need for counselling and an emphasis on mental health and well-being. More and more people are starting to understand the life-changing effects that nurturing our minds can have.

Benefits of counselling

Counselling helps many people by providing emotional support, increasing self-awareness, and improving interpersonal skills or coping strategies. Counsellors are trained professionals who listen attentively without judgment as clients share their thoughts and feelings to better understand themselves and work towards achieving goals they have set with their counsellor. 

Counselling provides many benefits, including an improved sense of well-being, increased self-esteem, better communication skills with others, greater emotional control over negative events, both past and present, and more effective coping strategies for managing stressful situations in the future. 

Counselling skills 

Counselling skills can be divided into five categories: active listening, reflective listening, questioning techniques, goal setting, and problem-solving strategies. These categories are not exclusive; they overlap with one another to form a comprehensive range of approaches that counsellors use during sessions. 

What Is Counselling Exactly? Skills Needed & Courses

What are the types of counselling?

There are many different types of counselling, including individual, family, couples and group counselling. The type that will work best depends on what it is you're looking to get out of the experience - whether it be help with mental health issues or just someone to talk to about life events. 

Every counsellor specialises in a certain field to best understand the needs and situations of their clients, which is why it is essential to understand the role and purpose of each field of counselling. 

Gestalt therapy

Gestalt therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the present moment. It aims to help people find relief from emotional pain by focusing on their current thoughts and feelings rather than past experiences or future concerns. Gestalt therapy aims to reach "perceptual clarity" about one's emotions, which can be achieved through dialogue with an experienced therapist who guides you toward self-awareness without judgment or blame.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy used to treat problems by modifying the thought patterns that are causing them. It's usually short-term, goal-oriented and focuses on solving current problems. CBT looks for practical ways to improve your mood and everyday functioning instead of focusing on past issues like other therapy types. CBT is often used to treat anorexia, depression, phobias and obsessions.

Person-centred therapy

Person-centred therapy is a type of counselling that aims to help people find their own solutions. The counsellor creates an accepting, non-judgemental space for the person to explore their feelings and experiences. 

Integrative therapy

The goal of integrative therapy is to help patients achieve their goals for wellness over time by using an individualised blend of therapeutic approaches so they can live better lives now and in the future.  Integrative therapy is commonly used to treat stress, anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol addiction and many other mental health-related disorders. It also helps people cope with life changes in general.

Existential therapy

Existential therapy seeks to help clients find meaning in themselves through personal exploration and discovery and by questioning what they believe to be true about themselves and others around them. The therapist will not provide any answers for you; instead, they will ask questions that require deep thought from the client. This may seem like an overwhelming task at first, but over time, it has become very effective in helping people move forward with their lives, free of destructive thoughts or behaviours.

What Is Counselling Exactly? Skills Needed & Courses

Counselling Courses 

As counselling becomes increasingly popular, the need for qualified counsellors is only increasing. Various counselling courses can equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to help people struggling with difficult situations. Whether you're already active in the industry or want to become a counsellor, you can take advantage of online courses to upskill yourself and become a better counsellor to those who need it most.

The fact that courses are online means that you can get qualified faster, and on average, Oxbridge learners’ grades are 20% higher. There’s no better time to start than now. Browse our counselling courses or speak with our learning advisers via Live Chat to take the first step.