“What is counselling?'' a difficult question for Counsellors.
The simple answer is : Counsellors listen
Counsellors are trained to listen with a specific structured agenda that is essentially different from the agenda most of us have in our daily conversational exchanges.
Two friends chatting in a restaurant, for instance, are listening to each other for clues that enable each to contribute, to affirm the similarities in their experience, or are playfully competing with exciting bits of news, updates and gossip.
The listening in a counselling relationship is much more one-sided,
by using non judgmental understanding when listening to clients and creating an environment where clients feel safe to explore the deeper dimensions of their current situation and experiences.
As a Counsellor all my personal concerns are put aside to concentrate my attention on you, so that, in effect, what is personally concerning to you becomes the sole focus of what is also personally concerning to me whilst we are together.
Offering a response that is reflective, empathic and non judgmental, can help deeper concerns rise to the surface...
...by allowing a trusting relationship to grow between us, we can openly explore issues and concerns together.
Sometimes we just need help to see the wood from the trees.