The counselling process and how it works will be outlined and explained by the counsellor with the aim to assist you in establishing whether or not counselling is right for you. Together you will begin to explore what it is that brings you to counselling at this time, your hopes, needs and supports. At the end of the initial assessment you will agree on the next steps. Very often, but not always, this may be to embark on a series of counselling sessions at a time that suits both parties.
Some of the beliefs that underpin our work in these sessions are as follows:
- The first belief is that deep down, people are good. They have a true self, innate from birth, which is positive. While the negative in life (pain, problems etc) are real, it is not the deepest level. In counselling, “actualization” is a name given to the tendency for an individual to fulfil his or her potential despite the negative and this is regarded as the sole motivation for human behaviour and development.
- The second belief is holistic thinking. A person is comprised of their whole body, emotions, thinking, social and spiritual aspects. Developmental or healing work cannot be confined to one of these aspects without reference to the others.
- The third belief is that reality is viewed through unique subjective experience. (This is called “phenomenology”) At a collective level, experience is socially constructed. To work with somebody therapeutically, one needs to step into their viewpoint rather than hold to one’s own, because different views of what constitutes reality are not often the same.
- The fourth belief is that a client be empowered to choose and act. It sees the client as an equal party in the process, one who has the power to make choices and changes. It accepts that a client may be limited by environmental realities but does not believe that expert advice is the key to progress. The power, essentially, is within the client. The client is always in flux, in change and development, a process which is future and meaning oriented.