What is Counselling?
Counselling is a principled relationship characterized by the application of one or more psychological theories and a recognized set of communication skills, modified by experience, intuition, and other interpersonal factors, to clients’ intimate concerns, problems or aspirations. Its predominant ethos is one of facilitation rather than of advice-giving or coercion. It may be of very brief or long duration, take place in an organizational or private practice setting and may or may not overlap with practical, medical, and other matters of personal welfare.
It is both a distinctive activity undertaken by people agreeing to occupy the roles of counsellor and client and an emergent profession. It is a service sought by people in distress or in some degree of confusion who wish to discuss and resolve these in a relationship which is more disciplined and confidential than friendship, and perhaps less stigmatized than helping relationships offered in medical or psychiatric settings (Feltharn, Dryden, et al., 1993).
Counselling is a different process than talk therapy, as there is an active effort from the client and the counsellor to discover and explore the difficulties the patient has been experiencing, as the therapist offers concrete guidance that is solution-based in nature.