Types of Counselling
Why Attend Counselling?
We believe that talking works.
Many people are unsure what to expect from counselling and hesitate to come along for this reason. The reality is that many of us, throughout our lives, experience difficult times or get a bit stuck, and a significant number of us benefit hugely from engaging with a professional counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist in a confidential and safe environment.
You may wish to use counselling to address something specific in your life. You may be experiencing ongoing problems triggered by a specific event, such as job loss or divorce, or issues that are related to things that happened to things in the past. It may be that the stresses of modern-day life are just too much to deal with. Maybe there is no apparent specific problem, yet life has become unmanageable and a struggle from day to day. Counselling can help with many areas in life and talking to someone you can trust can make a real difference.
Whatever the reason behind your struggles, we are here to offer you some support.
Types of Counselling
There are many types of counselling or psychotherapy, so it can be confusing to know how to choose an appropriate therapist. Research suggests that the relationship with your therapist is more important for your progression than the theories that they favour. Your therapist will help you get the most out of every session, helping you feel safe, accepted, respected and challenging you in a positive and constructive way.
Understanding the wide range of approaches therapists may use can be useful, as you may find one approach more appealing that another and better suited to your needs. The types of counselling that Liber8 offer are listed below.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT combines both cognitive (thinking) therapy and behavioural (actions) therapy, and focuses on the relationships and connections between your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. By identifying the pattern between these three key components, you'll develop an understanding of how your thoughts, emotions and behavior all influence each other. You will be able to pinpoint the destructive thoughts that create negative emotions, which fuel problematic behavior - learning how to restructure the way you think to develop healthier thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours.
CBT suggests that our thoughts, behaviours, emotions and physical reactions are closely connected. What goes on in each one of these areas also affects the others. By making changes in one area, we will automatically affect the other areas in the cycle.
How does it work?
- CBT supports you to improve your current situation and make lasting changes, teaching you the techniques to use in the face of future challenges.
- It helps you identify and re-evaluate negative thoughts, beliefs and patterns of thinking.
- It helps you challenge and change unhelpful thoughts that contribute to issues such as anger, anxiety and depression.
- CBT helps you understand and tolerate emotional distress. It can help you calm your emotions and transform any overwhelming negative feelings into more manageable ones.
- It teaches you to recognise, and respond to, uncomfortable physical reactions and sensations, helping you to reduce and manage them more effectively.
Who is CBT suitable for?
CBT is suitable for anyone who would like to change the way they live their life, or anyone who is dealing with a wide range of issues, such as:
- Anger management
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
CBT counselling appeals to many people as it can help you to work on practical solutions to your problems while discovering new ways of behaving in situations that you find difficult. As well as looking at what you can do to help yourself, in the present and future, CBT also involves looking at your past and how it affected you. We are all shaped by our surroundings and understanding how problems develop can lead to greater self-awareness and an improved ability to deal with difficulties in the future.
The Person-Centred approach is based on the idea that there are certain therapeutic conditions which are the key to successful personal growth. Most counsellors will have learned about the ideas of Carl Rogers (1940s and 1950s) who emphasized the importance of the counsellor being warm, empathic, non-judgmental and non–directive. If you are engaged in ‘pure’ Person-Centred counselling, you are likely to feel accepted, supported and encouraged. The counsellor is very unlikely to give specific advice or suggestions about what you should do - the aim is for you to realise your potential and trust your own inner voice, so that you can work out what is right for you and how you want your life to be.
How does it work?
Person-Centred Therapy relies on the quality of the relationship with your counsellor. This is sometimes called a ‘way of being’. The person-centred counsellor will trust you to find your own answers and direction. The counsellor is a fellow traveller on your journey, helping you to understand how you interact with the world and to develop a greater sense of self-awareness in a (physically and psychologically) safe environment. Your counsellor will demonstrate empathy, acceptance and congruence; these are the core conditions that are at the heart of the person-centred approach. You will be given space to share and explore whatever is troubling you. The sessions will be directed by you, rather than your counsellor.
The 3 key qualities:
- Empathy: seeing the world as you see it - reflecting and communicating in a way that shows that you feel understood and heard.
- Acceptance: adopting a non-judgmental stance, viewing you as someone who can make your own choices and discuss those choices.
- Congruence (genuineness): being open, genuine, and paying attention to what you are bringing to therapy. This warmth and genuine approach will hopefully allow you to feel valued. In turn, this will support the development of self-esteem and trust in your own judgement.
Who is it suitable for?
Person-centred counselling is suitable for a wide range of clients and a wide range of issues, including:
- Anxiety and stress
- Trauma including PTSD
- Relationship difficulties
- Sexuality and identity
- Suicidal thoughts and feelings
The spirit of person-centred counselling is to build trust within a helpful and supportive relationship, one which offers you the freedom to express your emotions and to talk about difficult issues with no pressure or judgment. There is no ‘technique’ other than providing an open and honest space to talk. The hope is that counselling is seen as something that is for everyone - there are points in many of our lives when talking to someone professionally might be helpful. Counselling can be a very empowering experience and a proactive choice for you.
Person-centred counselling appeals to many people as it is client-led, giving you control over what is discussed in the therapy session. Many people are understandably attracted to the empathetic and non-judgemental nature of person-centred counselling.
Integrative Counselling is when several distinct models of Counselling and Psychotherapy are used together in a converging way. Many counsellors use one core theoretical model of counselling but draw on techniques and styles from other approaches when appropriate. This approach highlights that no single approach can treat all clients in all situations.The counsellors use whatever methods and skills are beneficial to the individual client’s needs.
How does it work?
Integrative therapists use tried and tested therapeutic models. They will follow the core principles of person-centred counselling - establishing a safe environment, using the core conditions of empathy and congruence, maintaining confidentiality and building a trust-based relationship based on unconditional positive regard. From there, the integrative therapist might use methods from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to ease distress, offering practical exercises and generating positivity. Integrative therapists are practical in adapting their practice to your needs, but unwavering in their focus on the overarching aim of integrative therapy - that you become more ‘at one with yourself’.
Who is it suitable for?
Integrative counselling is suitable for anyone who wants to assess or re-evaluate their lives, or explore specific aspects of their lives. It may also benefit you if you are unsure how to proceed with therapy, as it offers a potential framework for experimenting with different therapeutic models to determine what suits your current needs. For example:
- Suicidal and despairing thoughts
- Attachment issues
- Changes and transitions
- Families and relationships
See our dedicated page on self help for advice and resources.