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What is Counsellor?

A counsellor is a person who you talk to so they can help you overcome difficulties in your life. Counsellors are a type of mental health professional. Counsellors help you solve problems and develop problem-solving skills by helping you clarify issues and explore your options.

If you are struggling with issues like relationships, money, or the loss of a loved one, counselling might help you to cope and move on through life.

What do counsellors do?


Counselling is a talking therapy. Counsellors ask questions and listen to you in a non-judgmental, safe and confidential way. You will be an active participant in the sessions.

Counsellors don’t diagnose issues, but they work with you to improve your mental health, help you understand yourself better and help you develop strategies and work towards goals. Counselling can help you gain new insight into situations and can improve your resilience. 

What problems can counselling help with?


Counsellors help people who are facing problems such as stressfinancial stressdomestic violence, or bereavement.

Counsellors also support people with mental illnesses like depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Counselling can help with postnatal depression.

In combination with nicotine replacement therapy, counselling can help people quit smoking and can also help with drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Is counselling confidential?


By law, a counsellor must keep most of the things you tell them confidential. There are some exceptions, such as where you or another person is thought to be at risk of harm. A counsellor should outline confidentiality to you in your first session.


Types of counsellors.


Counsellors work with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Some counselling sessions are done one-on-one, and some may be done in groups, or with other family members. It depends on the reason for the counselling and the therapy best suited to the situation.

Examples of different types of therapies used in counselling are acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness, couples counselling, and group therapies for grief, substance abuse or other issues.

Some counsellors specialise in certain areas, such as addiction counselling or eating disorders. Some counselling can be done through online interactive counselling programs, often supported by mental health professionals.

Some of the most common types of counselling are:

  • relationship counselling

  • financial counselling

  • rehabilitation counselling for people with a disability, health condition or social disadvantage

  • school counselling 

  • counselling for older people

  • counselling for childrenteenagers and young adults  

  • carers' counselling

There is also counselling to deal with issues such as:

After a few sessions you should know whether you feel comfortable with your counsellor. You should not feel judged or criticised. And gradually you should start to see some improvement and feel better. If you don’t feel that you are making progress or you feel that the counsellor isn’t right for you, you should look into changing counsellors.

Do I need a counsellor?


Counsellors can help if you are struggling with stress, feeling overwhelmed, having distressing thoughts, loss of self-confidence, conflict and many other problems. By talking through your concerns, counsellors can help you to see solutions you didn’t know were there. They can also help you find ways to cope better and move on in life.

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