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A problem shared is a problem halved. We’ve all heard it, but sometimes it really is easier said than done. That’s where a counsellor comes in handy. Feel free to offload and talk about what’s bothering you until the cows come home – or at least until your paid time is up.

How does it work?

It’s totally up to you. Counselling can be delivered in a group setting, on an individual basis, or even online. The miracles of modern technology allow you to get help via your webcam – so you can remain on your own safe and comfortable chair instead of moving to the scary world of the therapists couch.

Sessions usually last 50 minutes to an hour, or some counsellors may offer a speedy 20 minute option for those with a tight schedule – although you shouldn’t expect an immediate quick fix as it usually takes a few sessions for any positive effects to present themselves. It’s also likely that not everyone will have a “sunshine and flowers” reaction to the process - remember that counselling isn’t meant to be easy. If you find it tough, it could be exactly what you need.

Different counsellors will have different methods and your own individual circumstances will influence the way the session is run. The first few sessions will probably be quite structured as your therapist gains an understanding of any background information that may be useful. After this, you may come to the session with something specific you want to discuss, or you may have established a goal at the previous session to work towards.

Counselling could be helpful in treating problems like: *Depression *Eating disorders *Obsessive Compulsive Disorder *Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder *Loss or bereavement

Whatever the issue, the most important thing is to speak openly and honestly about it with your therapist. You should be made to feel comfortable and safe to explore anything you may be feeling, but you should never be promised a “cure”.

Is it for me?

If you’re having trouble getting over a problem and feel as though it’s preventing you from living your life, counselling might help you find a productive answer. Our family and friends are great at giving us love and cuddles, but that’s not always what we need. Occasionally stress gets on top of even the best of us, so give talking a try.

Good to know

Statistics show that approximately 1/6 of the British population are suffering from a mental disorder at any one time – so you’re not alone!

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