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What is Counselling?


The practice of counselling developed in the 20th century and reflects the demands, pressures, and values associated with modern living.

We live in a dynamic, busy, and complex world. The world presents diverse experiences that you and most other people may find difficult to handle. Most of the time, you may be able to get on with life. However, there are times when a problem or challenge you’re unable to cope with or resolve at that time can cause you immense psychological disturbance.

Most of the time, you may find solutions to your problems by speaking to close family members, friends, doctor etc. However, there are times when their advice may not be sufficient. What’s more, you may feel too embarrassed or ashamed to tell them what is really troubling you or lack a suitable person to turn to.

This is where counselling can support you. Talking to a counsellor can help you understand your problem. Your counsellor will listen to you in a confidential and non-judgment way and will work with you to help you find the best ways to resolve your issue or cope with it. But what is counselling?

Let’s now define counselling and take a look at what it entails.

Definition of Counselling

Counselling is a professional helping relationship between a counsellor and a client. It's characterised by a private, confidential and purposeful conversation designed to empower you to achieve mental health or bring about effective change. Through counselling, you can also achieve wellness, educational, and career goals.

During a counselling session, the role of the counsellor is to allow you to talk about your problems in detail and to help you explore your thoughts comprehensively. This will help you to identify the primary cause of your problems and reveal any unhelpful thought patterns.

Your counsellor will work with you to formulate an action plan to help you cope with or overcome such issues. Counselling respects diversity and seeks to understand problems or challenges from your perspective. As a result, it doesn’t try to fit you into a pre-existing diagnostic framework.

It’s important to note that counselling is NOT:

  • Coaching

  • Consulting

  • Mentoring

Counselling Formats

Counselling can take place in different formats, which are:

  • Face to face or in-person counselling: Face-to-face counselling or in-person counselling sessions take place in a counsellor’s office after having scheduled an appointment. Face-to-face counselling is one of the most popular counselling arrangements.

  • Group counselling: In group counselling, people with similar issues join group counselling sessions. They gain insight into how group members handle their issues and also develop a strong support network.

  • Online counselling: Online counselling sessions or virtual counselling sessions offer you the opportunity to go through counselling virtually via video conferencing software platforms like Zoom from the comfort of your home.

  • Phone counselling: You and your counsellor can also schedule telephone counselling sessions.

Be sure to choose the right approach for your needs. These counselling formats can be combined or tailored to fit your specific needs.

How Can Counselling Help?

There are many ways in which counselling can help you. For example, counselling can help you in:

  • Gaining insight into your problems and challenges, thus increasing your ability to think rationally about your feelings and actions.

  • Cognitive change, whereby you’re able to modify or replace maladaptive thought patterns or irrational beliefs arising from self-destructive behaviour.

  • Relating well with others, including your family, friends, and colleagues.

  • Increasing your self-awareness, thus becoming more aware of thoughts and feelings that you’ve blocked or denied.

  • Problem-solving or finding solutions to problems you couldn’t initially solve alone.

  • Self-acceptance by helping you acknowledge experiences that were the source of self-rejection or self-criticism.

  • Improving your quality of life

  • Building your self-esteem


Counselling is a relationship and a non-judgmental conversational space that allows you and your counsellor to explore and resolve problems. It’s important to know that counselling is readily available, and you can seek counselling if the need arises.

Unveiling Pearls offers one to one counselling, contact us to find out more.

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