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What does ‘change’ mean?

Counselling as a therapy and therapeutic process does not provide a cure to a person’s mental illness nor aims to solve life’s challenges. However, counselling can help improve a person’s quality of life whether this means exploring relationship issues or perception of self as one gets older or coping with a disability or chronic health condition. Some other ways of ‘doing’ change in counselling are described below (AIFS, 2016).

  • Positive expectations and hope

  • Relationship factors (trust, caring)

  • Permission to explore new areas

  • Telling a personal story

  • Feeling understood and heard

  • Facing fears

  • Reduction of stress

  • New insights and understandings

  • Suggestions for problem solving

  • Focus on present, past and future

  • Social support

  • New options and alternatives

  • Understanding past behaviour

  • Future planning

A therapist may use a number of counselling therapies or approaches in working with a person through their problem or challenge and in that process, facilitate self-understanding for their client.

What makes a difference for you in counselling?


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