Carey West

Lucas Close,
Crawley, W Sussex,
RH10 7EY
01293 881 975
07983 400 166

About Counselling

Below is a list of articles on counselling aims and information. Click on an article heading to view the full information.

What is counselling?

Although Yellow Pages still lists counselling under a section headed “Counselling and Advice”, these two things are really quite different – even opposite in meaning. Modern counselling is not about telling you how to run your life.

These days it makes more sense to think of counselling as a kind of psychotherapy, but focused on particular issues.

The difference between counselling and psychotherapy is more about time-scale. Counselling typically lasts from 1 – 6 weeks (short) to 2 years (long); Psychotherapy usually from 6 months to several years.

Some things take longer to explore than others.

If you were upset at the ending of a relationship, and finding it difficult to concentrate at work, the time scale would be shorter than if someone was severely abused in childhood, had a history of severe depression, self-harm, with perhaps an eating disorder.

Whether counsellor or psychotherapist, a properly-trained professional, seeing you for the first time, should be able to advise you about a suitable way forward for what you want to achieve, and may be able to give you some idea of how long it might take. This is what I will do in the first session.

What does counselling aim to do?

Counselling aims to help you Explore your circumstances, Understand your feelings, thoughts & behaviour, And so be better able to Decide what you want to do.

Counselling aims to Support you as you begin to Come to terms with the unchangeable, Make decisions about things you can (and want to) change, And begin to put them into practice.

How are you?

Perhaps you are feeling distressed? hurt?

Perhaps you are feeling flat? tearful? anxious?…

Perhaps you don’t know why?

Perhaps you are only too aware of the reason!

Some of the aims of counselling are to help you;

Make a choice, Make a change Or Sort out confusion

Working Together

Whatever your particular situation you will receive Individual Consideration and Respect.

Space and time to think through what you find important, and unconditional positive regard as we work together on the things you may want to bring.

The first session

This session contains a time of information giving I can give you information about how I work, What confidentiality is etc.

I can attempt to answer any questions you may have about what counselling is, how it may help you, how long it may take etc.

You can give me an idea of what is going on for you, and what has brought you to counselling at this time.

And so we begin…

What would you say?

If someone were there to really listen to you
Not to judge you
Not to criticise, Not to alter your words
Not to use your words against you
Never to condemn you

If you had someone to listen to YOU
Not so they could then say how they feel/think/did/want/….
But to listen to you

To someone who really listens to YOU
With no agenda to get you to think a certain way or behave in a certain way
With no time-scale but yours, so they can travel at your pace
And focus on the things that mean something to you

When you could say anything
When you felt safe to know you can say the “never before said” things
When you could say the thoughts and feelings that you’ve even tried to hide from yourself?

If you knew you could say ANYTHING
And yet not be pigeonholed in any of the infinite ways others may see us
“You’re a mum, you can’t think that…”
“Don’t be silly, you can’t think that…”
“You said *#!% last week so you must still think it now – and be a particular kind of person”
What would you say If you could say ANYTHING and still know for certain
That you continue to be cared for and respected and trusted
If you knew you could say anything and still be valued?

If knew you had 50 whole minutes for yourself
If you knew you could regain your composure (if you needed to) before going back into your routine?

When you could say anything (or nothing at all) and STILL be accepted, and acceptable.

Photo of my therapy room
Carey West is a BACP registered counsellor - Membership number 008841