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What is Counselling?

This is a great question! Going through depression, anxiety, and great life stresses and transitions can be overwhelming especially if we are going through them alone. The reality is you don't have to go through these life challenges alone. A counsellor sits with you, listens to your story, makes you feel heard, and serves as a psychological holding space for you.

 

You may ask what is a psychological holding space?

 

A psychological holding space is when a counsellor is fully present with you,  undistracted, and fully focused on you and your story. In counselling the counsellor creates a safe and nonjudgmental place for you where you can speak freely without the fear of judgement. 

A psychological holding space involves the counsellor listening effectively and attentively. The counsellor does not make the focus of conversation about themselves, although they may disclose personal truth bites of information that may make you feel less alone. That is done for your benefit not for theirs. The counsellor also does not shut down difficult conversations and instead welcomes them. 

In order to create the psychological holding space the counsellor demonstrates empathy towards you. This means counselling does not just focus on listening, but it means that counselling involves understanding your feelings, and perspective. It involves noticing your tone, body language, as well as emotions. 

Although counselling involves providing individuals with strategies as well to deal with the stressors they are facing. Ultimately the real changes occur in the therapeutic relationship.

 

Carl Rogers identified 3 core conditions of client-centred therapy. 

1. Congruence

Rather than being a blank slate, the counsellor brings their authentic self into the conversation. The therapists internal and external experiences are one and the same.

2. Unconditional Positive Regard

Carl Rogers had the understanding that in order for individuals to grow and reach their potential it was important for the individuals to be valued. Unconditional positive regard speaks to the counsellors deep and genuine caring for the client. Although the counsellor may disapprove of the clients actions the counsellor will always carry a positive attitude towards the client. 

3. Empathy

Empathy refers to the counsellors ability to sensitively and accurately understand what the client is feeling and experiencing in the moment. 

 

 

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