Many people will, at some point in their lives, find themselves in the role of a counsellor without having a true understanding of the concept of counselling or what the role of the professional counsellor entails.
There is a big difference between a professional counsellor and a person who uses some counselling skills as part of their role, for example their role as a friend or colleague. A professional counsellor is a highly trained individual who is able to use a different range of counselling approaches with their clients.
- The process that occurs when a client and counsellor set aside time in order to explore difficulties which may include the stressful or emotional feelings of the client.
- The act of helping the client to see things more clearly, possibly from a different view-point. This can enable the client to focus on feelings, experiences or behaviour, with a goal to facilitating positive change.
- A relationship of trust. Confidentiality is paramount to successful counselling. Professional counsellors will usually explain their policy on confidentiality. They may, however, be required by law to disclose information if they believe that there is a risk to life.