What is Counselling?
For some people who come to Choices this may be their first experience of counselling so there could be concerns as to what counselling is.
Everybody’s experience of abuse is different as is how they deal with it. This is called the healing process.
Counsellors are trained to listen attentively while you talk through your problems and to support you during the difficult phases of the healing process.
Counselling is based on mutual respect and the trusting relationship that builds up between the client and counsellor.
Counselling does not involve being told what to do and there is no rigid programme that is followed to “cure” people. Your counsellor will be supportive but will not give you advice since the aim is to help you develop insight into your problems. They do this by helping you to draw upon your own resources, some you may be unaware of, so enabling you to approach life in a new way. You are, after all, the “expert” on your own abuse – not the counsellor.
All counsellors at Choices have been trained to deal with the issues surrounding sexual abuse and are fully supported in their work. This means that, unlike family and friends, clients do not need to worry about overburdening their counsellor. Nothing is too bad to be taken to counselling.
Counselling is not an easy process. It is very hard to deal with difficult issues and it involves a lot of courage to face up to problems rather than to ignore them. Normal people often need help to deal with traumatic events that have happened in their lives. It does not mean that they are mad. Often they have had very rational responses to awful events.
Choices counselling sessions are weekly, with the same counsellor, for which we ask a contribution towards the cost which can be as little or as much as you can afford, but no-one will be turned away because they cannot afford it. There is a strict policy on confidentiality and the pace at which issues are dealt with is determined by the client. We appreciate that it can take time to fully trust the counsellor. Remember that the counsellor can only help you deal with issues that you bring to the session. They are not psychic!
We offer up to two years of counselling although this is certainly not compulsory and clients may complete the healing process within a much shorter time. Experience has shown us that there are unfortunately no short term quick fixes when you are trying to deal with sexual abuse. Rest assured that both the client and the counsellor will be working towards an ending whether it be short or longer term.
To conclude counselling helps you deal with many difficult issues e.g. anger, guilt, shame etc in the safety of the counselling session. It can make you feel more in control of your life. You will be in control of the counselling so why not give it a try. You do not have to be a victim.
People can change!