What is Counselling?

What is Counselling?

Relate NI’s main counselling focus is on a relationship issue and we can offer counselling support to individuals, families, couples, children (aged 4 – 11 years) and teenagers (up to 17yrs).  Counselling can help you identify steps you would like to take towards working through and resolving things that you might see as problems. Other issues might emerge as part of the process, but your counsellor will help you to stay focused on the reasons why you have sought counselling.

Attending sessions with a counsellor can be quite hard work and you might feel emotionally or physically drained and tired by the end of a session, particularly in the earlier sessions.  As you get used to and progress through the sessions you will hopefully be feeling the process is useful and you are developing a greater understanding of yourself and of others.

Counselling is not a quick fix solution, it is more a process through which individuals can come to a greater understanding of themselves and their relationships with other people. The possibility of change may emerge from the counselling process, enabling you to engage more appropriately with the world so that you are able to live in a more satisfying way.

Before starting sessions in counselling there are some things you may want to consider:

  • Are you able to make time for your counselling appointments?  Your sessions will be scheduled to take place usually at the same time over a period of consecutive weeks.  It’s important that you plan ahead to make sure you are available for all the scheduled sessions.  If on occasion you are unable to attend it is important you give plenty of notice as this may enable us to book someone else into the time slot that you cannot attend.
  • Whether you are here as an individual or part of a couple or a family it is important that you are entering the process positively to look at what you may be able to change to improve your relationship with yourself and with others.  Your counsellor is trained and experienced in assisting you to work through issues and situations and you should have confidence in their ability to assist you on this journey.

As part of the process you will be provided with a ‘Coming to Counselling Contract’ – this will outline what Relate NI can provide to you and what we need you to agree to in order to make the most of the counselling intervention.  This also has details of how we work with you as a client, with your personal information and we use it to gain your consent to do that work. As part of the initial assessment session, couples will also have an opportunity to have some individual time with the counsellor. We also provide you with details of our comments, complements and complaints policy.  We are keen to hear your views about our service and use this to gather your feedback.

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