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Counselling is a type of talk therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment.
A counsellor is trained to listen with empathy (by putting themselves in your shoes). They can help you deal with any negative thoughts and feelings that you have. Sometimes, the term ‘counselling’ is used to refer to talking therapies in general, but counselling is also a specific type of therapy in its own right. Other psychological therapies include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and relationship therapy (which could be between members of a family, a couple or work colleagues).
What is counselling used for?
Talking therapies, such as counselling, can be used to treat many different health conditions including:
- borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- long-term illnesses
- eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia
- drug misuse
How can counselling help?
Counselling aims to help you deal with and overcome issues that are causing pain or making you feel uncomfortable. It can provide a safe and regular space for you to talk and explore difficult feelings. The counsellor is there to support you and respect your views. They will not usually give advice, but will help you to find your own insight and understanding of your problems.
Counselling can help you to:
- cope with a bereavement or relationship breakdown
- cope with redundancy or work-related stress
- explore issues such as sexual identity
- deal with issues that are preventing you from achieving your ambitions
- deal with feelings of depression or sadness, and have a more positive outlook on life
- understand yourself and your problems better
- feel more confident
- develop a better understanding of other people’s points of view
Counselling can often involve talking about difficult or painful feelings and, as you begin to face them, you may feel worse in some ways. However, with the help and support of your therapist, you should gradually start to feel better.
In most cases, it takes a number of sessions before the counselling starts to make a difference, and a regular commitment is required to make the best use of the therapy.
Psychology is the scientific study of human mind and behaviour: how we think, feel, act and interact individually and in groups.
Psychology is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and with the thoughts, feelings and motivations underlying that behaviour. It is both a thriving academic discipline and a vital professional practice. We are all interested in what makes people tick and how this understanding can help solve major problems in society.Psychology is a science and psychologists study human behaviour by observing, measuring and testing, then arriving at conclusions that are rooted in sound scientific methodology. Applied or practising psychologists use the knowledge gained from this research in a wide range of settings. Applied psychologists help people with all sorts of problems, working with them to bring about change for the better.
Types of psychologist
The title of Chartered Psychologist is the benchmark of professional recognition, reflects the highest standard of psychological knowledge and expertise, and allows a psychologist to use the abbreviation CPsychol after their name.
The British Psychological Society recognises several areas of psychology in which it is possible to become a Chartered Psychologist:
- Clinical psychologists
- Counselling psychologists
- Educational psychologists
- Forensic psychologists
- Health psychologists
- Occupational psychologists
- Sport and exercise psychologists
- Teachers and researchers in psychology