Counselling is not provided at The Surrey Hypnotherapy Clinic, for the reasons discussed below on this page.
There are many definitions of the Counselling process. Four (progressively longer) example definitions are referenced in the sub-sections below.
The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology defines counselling as follows:
"A generic term that is used to cover the several processes of interviewing, testing, guiding, advising , etc. designed to help an individual solve problems, plan for the future etc.
Clinicians who specialise in guidance in marital problems, drug abuse, vocational selection, community work etc. are often called counselling psychologists."
Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology, Arthur S. Reber and Emily reber, Third Edition, 2001. First published 1985 - Penguin Books
The British Association for Counselling (BAC), now the BACP, may have been the first professional association to adopt a definition of professional counselling. In 1986 it published the following definition:
"Counselling is the skilled and principled use of relationship to facilitate self- knowledge, emotional acceptance and growth and the optimal development of personal resources. The overall aim is to provide an opportunity to work towards living more satisfyingly and resourcefully. Counselling relationships will vary according to need but may be concerned with developmental issues, addressing and resolving specific problems, making decisions, coping with crisis, developing personal insights and knowledge, working through feelings of inner conflict or improving relationships with others. The counsellor’s role is to facilitate the clients work in ways that respect the client’s values, personal resources and capacity for self-determination."
Source: BAC (1986) Counselling-Definition of terms in use with expansion and rationale (Information Sheet 1). Rugby: British Association for Counselling.
In 1993, Feltharn and Dryden included the following definition of counseling in their specialised Dictionary of Counselling:
"Counselling is a principled relationship characterised by the application of one or more psychological theories and a recognised 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 organisational 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 it is 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 stigmatising than helping relationships offered in traditional medical or psychiatric settings."
Source: Feitham, C. and Dryden, W. (1993) Dictionary of Counselling. London, : Whurr
In 1997 the Governing Council of the American Counselling Association(ACA) accepted the following definition of professional counselling:
"Counseling is the application of mental health, psychological or human development principles, through cognitive, affective, behavioral or systemic interventions, strategies that address wellness, personal growth, or career development, as well as pathology. (http://counseling. org) The definition also includes these additional attributes:
• Counseling deals with wellness, personal growth, career, and pathological concerns. In other words, counselors work in areas that involve relationships (Casey, 1996). These areas include intra- and interpersonal concerns related to finding meaning and adjustment in such settings as schools, families, and careers.
• Counseling is conducted with persons who are considered to be functioning well and those who are having more serious problems. Counseling meets the needs of a wide spectrum of people. Clients seen by counselors have developmental or situational concerns that require help in regard to adjustment or remediation. Their problems often require short-term intervention, but occasionally treatment may be extended to encompass disorders included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (1994) of the American Psychiatric Association.
• Counseling is theory based. Counselors draw from a number of theoretical approaches, including those that are cognitive, affective, behavioral, and systemic. These theories may be applied to individuals, groups, and families.
• Counseling is a process that maybe developmental or intervening. Counselors focus on their clients’ goals. Thus, counseling involves both choice and change. In some cases, “counseling is a rehearsal for action” (Casey, 1996, p. 176)"
Source: Gladding, S.T. ( 2004). Counseling: A Comprehensive Profession (5th edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall. P 6-7.
Many people tend to see a counsellor for specific advice about a specific problem. For example:
A more complete list of specialised topics are referenced below, in the acknowledgements section.
However the world of counselling has evolved over the years (e.g. see above evolution of the definition of counselling) such that many counsellors are now trained to not give advice - so immediately there is a mismatch between what it is that the client actually wants or needs, and what it is that the counsellor is willing or able to provide !
Instead the counsellor will tend to merely 'reflect' back to their client what their client says (rephrasing it and using different language), in the hope that this will enable their client to find a solution for themself.
Additionally, during its evolution, the world of counselling has moved, for some counsellors, into being a form of 'psychodynamic therapy' ('therapeutic counselling').
In summary, it can be very difficult for the client to know what they are going to get when they see a counsellor. Although the client does know that at least they will have access to an independent person outside of their social circle with which they might, at least, be able discuss a problem that they might have.
Not all counselling is carried out by counsellors having a qualification or certificate in counselling, for example, teachers, priests, sports coaches, and workplace supervisors may also have a counselling function as part of their role.
Another potential difficulty is that many counsellors carry, in their minds, their own 'personal baggage' (i.e. 'experiences') which will tend to influence and bias any advice that they might give, making any such advice unhelpful - and this is probably the main reason for the counselling organisations dissuading their counsellors from dispensing any such advice.
Here at the Surrey Hypnothetrapy Clinic 'pure counselling' is not offered. This is because the provision of good and effective therapy will sufficiently change and empower the client such that they become empowered to make the correct decisions, for themselves - and, sometimes, when considered helpful, direct and specific advice will also be offered to the client for the client's consideration.
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