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Before you find a counsellor in your local area why not learn more about Counselling and Counselling Services. Strictly defined as 'to counsel' counselling is used to describe an enormous range of services. A counsellor can specialise in a number of areas. Our system will help you find a counsellor that can help you. Our site also offers a wealth of information on counselling. So if you are looking for counselling from a reputable counsellor then welcome to Go To See.


In This Article
History of Counselling How does it work?
A typical appointment What to expect
Timings/ Cost/ Sessions Is it for you?

The term 'counselling' was first used at the beginning of the 20th century by an American lawyer interested in helping people make choices on their occupation and career. However, as a modern psychological therapy, counselling traces its roots back to the work of Sigmund Freud during the late 19th century.

As a neurologist, Freud's approach centred on analysing a patient's inner psyche to resolve problems. Freud's psychotherapy differs to counselling in that it is more concerned with serious disorders such as schizophrenia. His theories led to a second strand of psychotherapy which looked at a person's behaviour and the observation of influences in the outside world. When Carl Rogers, an American psychologist, developed a person centred approach the field expanded into a third strand and what we know today as counselling.

Carl Rogers work in the 1940s and 50s focused on personality, human relationships and a person's experiences. This became known as a 'humanistic' approach and counselling today now encompasses other approaches that include psychodynamic, cognitive and behavioural. The word 'counselling' comes from the Latin word consilium and the Middle English word counseil meaning 'to take counsel'.


Counselling is a relatively short-term therapy that stems from a need to address problems that, if left unchecked, can lead to related mental and emotional disorders. A counselling session will allow a person to discuss and explore any problems causing distress and help to overcome them. Counselling can also help with a sense of loss or lack of direction. Most importantly, counselling gives you a chance to be heard.

By providing a confidential environment for a person to talk in, a counsellor will provide another perspective to your problems while listening and understanding your point of view. They will encourage an open dialogue about feelings such as anxiety, guilt or embarrassment and help you understand them. Through this, people find that they are able to make choices that can help overcome their issues.    


Be prepared

Counsellors are accredited members of a professional association such as The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or The United Kingdon for Psychotherapy (UKCP). Members are required to meet certain criteria including standards in training, supervision and certification. It's a good idea to check what qualifications and accreditation your counsellor has before making an appointment.

Sometimes you will receive information and a short questionnaire to complete before your first session, this is optional but may help you think about the problems you want to discuss. If you don't receive this, it may be beneficial to write down your issues and feelings and any questions you may want to ask your counsellor.

It may be appropriate to bring any family members or friends that are involved with your situation. This will be discussed before you attend your first session.

It's important to remember that seeing a counsellor is not a sign of weakness. Seeking help for personal issues is equally as important as seeking medical assistance for physical ailments. You will need to be open and honest with your feelings. A counsellor is trained to ask the right questions but they can't read your mind. Help them to do their job effectively and your sessions will be more productive. 


You'll no doubt feel uneasy at your first session and your counsellor will understand and be used to this. Remember this is the first step in making a happier life. A counsellor will see you in a private office at a convenient location. The office will be a comfortable and quiet environment for you to talk.

Your counsellor will tell you about the confidentiality of your session and then begin to ask questions to get a clearer understanding of your situation. They will then give you the opportunity to talk about why you have chosen to take counselling allowing the counsellor to understand the best options for future sessions. This whole process helps you to gain experience of working with a counsellor and is also the first step in developing trust between the two of you.

At the end of the session, your counsellor will ask if you wish to continue with counselling and agree a suitable number of future sessions. They may also suggest referral to other specialists or clinicians.

Many clients feel a sense of relief after their first session. This may be because the initial nervousness of the unknown has gone or because a weight has been lifted by beginning a process that will hopefully lead to a better life.


Sessions can last from 45 minutes to 60 minutes but expect your first session to last longer than normal as your counsellor assesses your situation and helps you understand your reasons for attending.

Counselling with the NHS is free and some practices have a counsellor attached to them but you may have a lengthy wait and budgets may limit the number of sessions you attend. Your GP will provide you with information about funded therapy. A private counsellor will charge anywhere from £25 to £50 per session.

The amount of counselling sessions you will need depends upon the issues you have but between 6-15 sessions is normal and you will usually attend on a weekly basis. Your counsellor will discuss this with you during your first session. Some counsellors have an open-ended approach and will allow you to continue beyond your agreed number of sessions if you feel it would be beneficial. Should you wish to cancel then you can give a session's notice.


Counselling is available to anyone and can help with a variety of issues and disorders. Many people are worried about what will happen to them mentally should they start to explore their psychological make-up but your counsellor is trained to help you through this.

Should a counsellor decide that your particular problem needs a different specialist they will advise you of this and arrange for a referral. 

This therapy or modality may help with:

Abandonment Abdominal Pain Abuse
Accident trauma Addiction ADHD
Agoraphobia Alcoholism Amnesia
Anger Management Anorexia nervosa Anxiety
Bedwetting Bereavement Betrayal
Bipolar Disorder Bulimia Bullying
Cancers Depression Despair Anguish
Drug addiction Eating Disorders Erectile Dysfunction
Exam Nerves Excessive Sweating Fainting
Gender issues Grief Habitual Behaviour
HIV Hyperhidrosis Hysteria
Impotence Indecisiveness Infertility
Insecurity Insomnia Jealousy
Learning difficulties Low Self Esteem Nightmares
Obesity OCD Panic Attacks
Performance anxiety Personal development Personality disorders
Pet loss Phobias Pregnancy
Rejection Relationship Problems Relationship Problems Couples
Relationship Problems Twins Seasonal Affective Disorder Self Harm
Separation Sexual Addiction Sexual Dysfunction
Sleep disorders Smoking Addiction Stomach cramps
Stress Stroke Suicidal Feelings
Trauma (PTSD) Vertigo Weight Management
Withdrawal Symptoms

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Featured Counselling Practitioners

Sample Of Practitioners By Location
Counselling Birmingham Counselling Brighton Counselling Bristol
Counselling Cardiff Counselling Central London W1 Counselling Coventry
Counselling East London Counselling Edinburgh Counselling Glasgow
Counselling Harley Street Counselling Leeds Counselling Liverpool
Counselling Manchester Counselling North London Counselling Nottingham
Counselling Sheffield Counselling South London Counselling West London

About Therapist Qualifications

The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) More Info The British Association for Counselling (BACP) The British Association for Counselling (BACP) More Info

Common Mispellings:
Counseelling, Councelling, Counceling, Counseling, Counselor,


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