Counseling may be available in a range of different places, including:
??? Private practice
??? Religious organizations
??? GP surgeries
??? Places of work
??? Schools, universities and colleges
??? Voluntary and charitable organizations
o Rethink Mental Illness
o Turning Point
Although there many different contexts where counseling skills are used. Counseling can be provided to individuals, groups, face-to-face setting, or online. The essence of all therapeutic relationships is to empower the client, giving the individual an exclusive space in which to talk in confidence, without judgment, recall, and prejudice. A space where feelings can be freely expressed and explored with the objective of finding a deeper understanding of emotional behavior and difficulties and ultimately find ways to manage life situations more effectively. In a safe confidential space. Without judgment or prejudice, by someone who is trained to listen attentively. Confidentiality , and maintain boundaries is one of the most fundamental ethical obligations of all therapeutic relationships. To detailing relevant expectation and obligations between counselor and client, including concern of time and place of sessions fees and legal obligations. There are also practical physical arrangements within the space that can benefit both client and counselor. Such as; adequate lighting, comfortable room temperature, appropriate seating arrangement.
Schools, educational institutions, and many workplaces offer free counseling services. These are usually short term and specific to the environment. Employees or students normally have a limited number of sessions available but if further support is required, counselors may refer onwards to alternative care resources, and make recommendations for referral or other services of support.
A counseling referral can be obtained from a GP and the NHS funds this
Short term, long-term and specialist counseling can be discussed with a GP.
??? A GP referral to a counselor means that the patient does not need to seek out a counselor.
??? Provides convenient access to supportive care
??? Counseling provides a alternative to medication
Family Counseling: This is offered when the whole family is in difficulty. A counselor examines and explores family dynamics to overcome relationships difficulties and communication. Family counseling can be helpful in dealing with:
??? child and adolescent behavioral problems
??? separation, divorce and step-family life
??? domestic violence
??? drug or alcohol addiction
Listening services also offer support, such as the Samaritans and NAPAC.These services are mostly run by trained volunteers. Support line and listening services often run a free 24 hour service and provide a minimum of 20 minutes listening time.
Couples counseling: effective when relationships are in crisis; providing individual and joint support offering insight and resolution. It can help couples learn more about each others needs and communicate better.
Usually counseling is provided one to one but group counseling is also appropriate for many issues. Group Counseling: up to around 12 people meet, together with a single counselor and talk about common concerns. Issues are shared with a view to provide support, advice, and understanding
Giving clients opportunities to talk, share with other people with similar concerns. Some groups have a fixed number of sessions while others offer a drop in service.
Some of the benefits of group are:
??? reduces isolation as you work on your issues
??? provides multiple perspectives on issues
??? provides an means for practicing and learning new interpersonal behaviours
??? helping others helps you to see your own issues differently and to feel you have something to offer other
In all settings the BACP lists the main parts of the counsellor??™s role as:
??? Listening in a non-judgemental and patient way
??? Viewing problems from the client??™s perspective
??? Assisting the client in seeing issues more clearly and perhaps from alternative
??? Minimising confusion, and helping the client to make choices and changes
The BACP also highlight a list of values of counseling and psychotherapy:
??? Respecting human rights and dignity
??? Protecting the safety of clients
??? Enhancing the quality of professional knowledge and its application
??? Alleviating personal distress and suffering
??? Fostering a sense of self that is meaningful, increasing personal effectiveness
??? Enhancing the quality of relationships between people
??? Striving for the fair and adequate provision of counseling and psychotherapy services
??? Appreciating the variety of human experience and culture
Highly trained specialist provides most counseling services in establishments and hospitals whereas in services such as listening services, trained volunteers often provide help.
Counseling in any situation begins with the clients desire to seek help by sometimes it can be a mandatory requirement as in a clinic, hospital or prison.
The type of therapy offered might all vary; there may be differences in time commitment and approach. Most popular approaches to counseling are Psychodynamic, humanistic and CBT therapies. Some are more suited to particular and specific issues while some are more general and non-specific. Each model has its own theory of human development and its own way of working. Some practitioners work in an integrative way, which means that they draw on elements of several different models when working with clients.
Psychodynamic counseling- This is based on the idea that past experiences have a bearing on experiences and present day relationships. Exploration of childhood experiences and the subconscious are considered highly relevant to the well being of the individual. Usually long term.
Client-centered or person-centered counseling-This is based on the principle that the counselor provides three ???core conditions??™:
??? Empathy (the ability to imagine oneself in another person??™s position)
??? Unconditional positive regard (nurturing feelings, regardless of the person??™s
??? Congruence (honesty and openness)
Based on building self awareness and client autonomy
It is usually a short term, goal oriented, ???problem and action focused??™ to help address specific problems. CBT helps individuals replace dysfunctional coping skills, negative emotions, and behaviors with more adaptive ones by challenging an individuals way of thinking and responses to certain habits or behaviors.
Given the uniqueness and intimacy of this relationship, it is not the therapeutic approach that is most influential factor in counseling but the counselor/ client relationship; deemed the most crucial for any effective counseling relationship to exist.