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Counselling can be difficult to define as it can be different for everyone depending on the particular concerns and goals of the client.  Ultimately counselling is about the relationship between the client and the therapist.  A psychologist is trained to use the skills of relationship to facilitate the client's personal insight, development, and growth.  This relationship is different from one you might have with a friend or family member.  Unlike friends and family members a therapist is able to remain neutral, focus entirely on you, and provide feedback that is informed by current research related to human nature and behaviour. A therapist is trained to listen to understand you, as opposed to respond to you.  Counselling is also confidential which provides an extra sense of safety.  Below are some FAQs about attending counselling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know if I need counselling?

A: It is normal to experience uncomfortable feelings and go through periods of struggle.  However, if you are finding you are losing interest in things that once interested you, your relationships are not as satisfying as they once were, you are not as productive at work or at home, it is a good time to reach out.  Counselling is not just for extreme cases, but can be helpful whenever we are noticing impairment in our day to day functioning.

Q: Will the therapist give me advice?

A: Your therapist will not tell you what you "should" do, or provide an answer for life decisions.  That being said, your therapist will support you in exploring your potential options, what you believe will be the right decision for you. 

Your therapist may offer feedback or potential tools you can use to help you overcome limitations.

Q: How often do I need to come to counselling?

A: The answer to this depends on your goals.  Typically, it is ideal to attend counselling sessions weekly, especially in the initial stage of therapy.  However, if this is not an option, it should not be a deterrent. The client and therapist can collaborate on a plan that will suit the client's needs.

Q: How many counselling sessions should I have?

A: Again the answer to this will depend on your goals. 

Q: Do I have to prepare for counselling beforehand?

A: It is not necessary to prepare for counselling beforehand.  However, you may find it helpful to consider or write down what your concerns are, and what you would like to achieve in therapy.

Q: Do I need a referral?

A: No. A referral is not necessary.

Q: Can my therapist prescribe medication if I need it?

A: Your therapist can not prescribe medication for you. Only a medical doctor can prescribe medication.


Contact You Psychology to find out how counselling might help you.