What is Counselling?

Evidence-based counselling methods have been shown to help...
- Overcome past traumas, anxiety and depression
- Free yourself from negative emotions, like guilt and shame
- Make peace with your past and present
- Work through challenging relationships
- Improve communication

On this page, you'll find the answers to these questions...
-What is Counselling?
-How do Counselling sessions work?
-How is Counselling different from psychology?
-What if I'm scared to talk to someone about my problems?
-Who can Counselling help?
-What will you learn through Counselling?
-What qualities should your Counsellor possess?
-Is counselling covered by Medicare?
-How much does Counselling cost?

Katherine With Client

1) What is Counselling?

Counselling works with healing past traumas, pain from past or current experiences, conflict and relationship challenges. In most cases, counselling leads to improved emotional and psychological health.

You may be in a good place and simply want someone to talk to. An effective counsellor listens without judgment and can be a great sounding board. An effective counsellor is empathetic, has excellent listening skills and may be the only person in your life who gives you 100% focus and attention. Counselling is not about giving unwanted advice. Rather it is more a facilitation of change and improvement in a client’s situation.

Colin Feltham, 2012, provides one of the most comprehensive definitions of counselling I have found. (Warning! It’s quite wordy!)

“Counselling and psychotherapy are mainly, through not exclusively, listening- and talking-based methods of addressing psychological and psychosomatic problems and change, including deep and prolonged human suffering, situational dilemmas, crises and developmental needs, and aspirations towards the realization of human potential. In contrast to biomedical approaches, the psychological therapies operate largely without medication or other physical interventions and may be concerned not only with mental health but with spiritual, philosophical, social and other aspects of living. Professional forms of counselling and psychotherapy are based on formal training which encompasses attention to pertinent theory, clinical and/or micro-skills development, the personal development/therapy of the trainee, and supervised practice.”

2) How do Counselling sessions work?

You can choose to meet face-to-face at my office at Gables (in Sydney’s northwest) or via Zoom.

We’ll meet for an initial 90-minute session, during which I’ll take note of your personal history and listen to what’s happening for you. I’ll get a detailed understanding of your current challenges and together we’ll outline a plan for working through and overcoming these challenges. I’ll use a combination of evidence-based approaches, depending on what is best suited to your needs. These approaches may include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Person-Centred Therapy and Neuro-linguistic Programming (among others).

During your first session, you can choose whether I’m the right person for your needs. If so, we will work out the number and frequency of sessions, based on what is best for your situation. Every step of the counselling process is collaborative. I won’t tell you what to do or give unwanted advice. I will facilitate positive change and will always act in your best interest.

3) How is Counselling different from psychology?

While both counselling and psychology deal with healing mental and emotional pain, the main difference is that psychology focusses on diagnosing dysfunction, whereas counselling does not diagnose. Katherine Agius’ counselling takes a strengths-based approach, viewing each individual as whole and capable of creating improvements in their lives.

4) I’m scared to talk to someone about my problems…

It’s quite natural to feel scared before you speak to a counsellor. All counsellors are bound by legislation and codes of ethics to behave ethically and within legal frameworks. I take my ethical responsibility to my clients seriously. From the beginning of your counselling, we will discuss my ethical responsibility, particular confidentiality, so you can feel confident that your best interests are uppermost. Most clients start feeling more comfortable even during your first session. However, if after our first session, you feel that counselling is not right for you, there is no obligation to continue.

5) Who can Counselling help?

If you’re experiencing challenges in your relationships, at work or in your personal life, it can feel so hard.

The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.

Counselling can help with…

  • personal challenges
  • communication and relationship problems
  • grief and trauma
  • anxiety and depression
  • stress
  • navigating major life transitions
  • abuse, bullying or victimisation

6) What will you learn through Counselling?

Through counselling, you may develop any or all of the following…

  • increased confidence and self-esteem
  • a sense of autonomy and indepence
  • greater self-awareness
  • better understanding of why others act as they do
  • improved communication
  • clarity about your situation
  • stress management and relaxation skills
  • self-care practices
  • enhanced decision-making
  • feeling happier and a sense of optimism about the future
  • useful strategies for improving your situation

7) What qualities should your Counsellor possess?

  • Empathy: being compassionate and judgement-free. Carl Rogers (creator of Person-Centred Therapy), terms this ‘unconditional positive regard’,
  • Behavioural flexibility: feeling comfortable with the unfamiliar, admitting when something isn’t working and being prepared to change direction when needed,
  • Self-awareness: a commitment to continued personal growth. A great coach must let go of their ego, continually question and look for better ways of doing things,
  • Excellent Communication: listening, clarifying, giving feedback clearly and authentically. Being able to notice what is NOT said,
  • Professionalism: adhering to ethical standards, honouring commitments, continual professional development.

8) Is Counselling covered by Medicare?

As an industry, we are working to have counselling recognised by Medicare. At this point in time, however, it is not funded. If you are on a current health care plan, you will need to speak to a psychologist who accepts the mental health care plan.

9) How much does Counselling cost?

Counselling fees vary, depending on your counsellor’s years of experience and qualifications. Click here for current fees.

Feel free to contact me or call 0419 29 66 33 for more information.

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