Counselling What Is It?
Counselling is a one to one talking therapy that gives you a regular space to talk about any feelings, issues or problems that you may have in a safe and confidential space. Your counsellor is there to listen and encourage you to work toward finding solutions to, or understanding some of the problems that either led to your substance use, or that you encounter during your treatment and recovery.
It sounds like key working to me to be honest!
I understand why, and there are some similarities. Both are one to one relationships to begin with. However, while your key-worker offers you advice and suggestions, your counsellor is there to listen and encourage you to work out the solutions for yourself!
What is the use of counselling if I do all the talking?
It’s a good question, and hard to answer in simple terms to be honest. It might help to think of a counsellor as a guide rather than an instructor.
Can you explain a little more please?
A counsellor helps you to examine your own thoughts and feelings around particular problems that are bothering you. You might want to try and work out why you drink too much, or gain some understanding about the reasons behind some of the difficulties you experience in your relationship with your partner or children for instance.
Keep going . . .
The idea is that by talking openly and honestly about your feelings and problems with a little guidance, usually in the form of questions, you are able to reach a new understanding of yourself and your behaviour. It is not uncommon for people to struggle to understand their own behaviour and counselling can help you to do this. After all, once you understand something it is much easier to decide what you are going to do to make things better.
How would I get a counsellor?
This would be discussed with your key-worker. They can refer you to a counsellor for extra support if you both feel it would be useful.
Will my counsellor tell my key-worker what I say?
No. The normal rules of confidentiality apply and what you discuss with your counsellor is private. (If you wish to know a bit more about the rules of confidentiality, read the page about how to access services.)
Where will my counselling take place?
Often it will take place in the building where you are accessing your treatment, although sometimes a counsellor will work from a different agency. Wherever it is, it will be a safe a private room.
How long does counselling last?
Often it is arranged as six or twelve consecutive sessions attended on a weekly basis. Of course, it can be longer depending upon your need and the availability of the counsellor.