Counselling and psychotherapy are a way of receiving support that is completely outside of a normal social relationship. The sessions take place in a private and confidential setting and there is an opportunity to focus on personal difficulties, perhaps a time of crisis or conflict or maybe a general feeling of dissatisfaction with life. People are encouraged to explore various aspects of their life and their feelings in a respectful and non-judgemental space.
Some people seek counselling in order to help them to discover what is important to them and to find a way to live the kind of life they really want to live. Sometimes just talking issues through with someone who is outside the situation may be all that is needed to improve health and well-being. Sometimes people seek therapy because of a particular difficulty they are experiencing and sometimes because they feel generally stuck and unhappy, without actually knowing why they feel this way.
Both counselling and psychotherapy can help people look at and deal with their problems in a different way and both may bring about profound changes. There may be an increase in self-esteem and improved relationships with other people. Often as people begin to see a way forward they also feel more in control of their lives. Counselling tends to be more short-term and to focus on a specific life problem such as bereavement, stress or anxiety, while psychotherapy tends to deal with more deep-seated personal issues and explores how past events may be influencing present-day feelings, thoughts and behaviours.