What to Expect in Counselling

PuzzleCounselling, as a profession, is a recognised method of helping people with psychological, emotional and relational problems. Counselling, or therapy as it may be called, involves a safe, confidential, professional relationship where the client is able to talk openly and freely about their problems. Gwen Lavis Counselling Albury offers clients the opportunity to come and talk about problems that are causing distress to themselves and sometimes their families. Through the counselling process, clients are supported while they work through these issues so they can improve their quality of life.

Counselling is not about giving advice or telling clients what to do. Counselling is about listening to the client and empowering them to be proactive about making positive changes that will help them achieve their goals and improve their relationships. It is not merely a discussion. Proven strategies, guided by thoroughly researched theories, are used to assist the client in making sense of their feelings and responses, to help them discover new ways of dealing with life.

Counsellors are not doctors and therefore do not diagnose or prescribe medication. Referrals to relevant medical professionals are sometimes recommended as part of the counselling process.

Gwen, from Gwen Lavis Counselling Albury, has experience and qualifications to counsel both individuals and couples with difficulties in a range of issues and areas including relationships, parenting, pre-marriage, depression, grief and loss, personal problems, stress, life skills, conflict resolution and anxiety.

Why Should I See A Counsellor?

It takes courage and strength to reach out for help. Many people don’t know where to start and have many questions. Many people believe they are the only one that thinks or feels the way they do and that they should be able to manage their problems on their own. Deciding to see a counsellor breaks the isolation a person may feel. It helps them embark on a journey that increases their understanding of themselves and the problems they struggle with, and helps them discover new strategies and behaviours to make the changes they desire.

What Happens When I See A Counsellor?

During the early phase of the first counselling session, Gwen asks clients what brings them to counselling. Clients are encouraged to talk about their problems and distresses, whether personally or relationally, that have caused them to seek professional help. Clients may come to a counselling session alone or with other family members, if they choose. Gwen takes a family systems approach, which respects each person’s unique perspective on the problem. When relationships are involved, Gwen takes a neutral stance to assist clients in working to improve the relationship. After listening to each person’s perspective on the problem, Gwen helps each person establish goals that meet their needs and expectations. In the case of a couple or family seeking counselling, Gwen encourages the establishment of mutually agreeable goals to help bring resolution of the problem to both partner’s satisfaction. After goals have been established, in collaboration with the client, we plan a strategy or counselling plan for achieving those goals.

At Gwen Lavis Counselling, clients are encouraged to utilise the strengths and skills they may have been overlooking, or help them use them in a new way. Gwen’s role is to ask questions to help the client examine their life and problems from new angles. Her questions also may help the client gain greater insight into their problem and themselves.

At times, a client may experience difficulty with life skills such as communication, conflict resolution, intimacy or relating to others. As appropriate, assistance will be provided to have a raised awareness of any underlying issues or dynamics that are obstacles to utilising these skills. When the client is ready, Gwen encourages them to practise or experiment with new ways of behaving, outside the counselling session, in order to implement what they are learning in the counselling session to their daily life.

At all stages in the counselling process, Gwen respects each person’s right to choose their own goals and path to achieving those goals. She will help clients identify alternatives and assist in considering the pros and cons of each possible course of action. Gwen will help clients determine steps which may be taken to achieve a particular outcome. When appropriate, Gwen may respectfully challenge unhelpful patterns of thinking or reasoning, inconsistencies or unhelpful behaviour.

Often, people have genuinely tried very hard to change for years and have come to think that they themselves or any possibility of change is hopeless. Real growth and change begins on the inside. Counselling provides an opportunity for clients to find support and understanding and discover new ways of dealing with life. Counselling allows clients to feel heard.

How Long Will It Take?

Each session of counselling lasts one hour. The duration of therapy varies with each person or couple and is determined by the complexity of the problems and the rate at which clients are able to process and implement new insights. Clients are free to end counselling whenever they choose, although research proves that several sessions are usually necessary to bring about lasting change.

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