Psychological counseling is a process of self development and change. Counseling is about being offered the opportunity to talk in a safe environment and explore thoughts, feelings and emotions in the presence of a trained professional. Through this process, we can reach a better understanding of who we are and why we feel and respond to life in the way we do. Increasing our self-understanding helps us to live happier and more fulfilling lives. Through being listened to, valued and respected, we can gain a greater self-acceptance, boost our self-confidence and learn to develop a different relationship to our distress.
Counseling psychologists help people recognise their strengths and resources to cope with their problems. They help people understand and take action on career and work problems and pay attention to how problems and people differ across life stages.
The psychological effects of experiences such as loss, war trauma, accidents, physical attacks, work stress, relationship difficulties, sexual abuse, family problems, emotional neglect during childhood and so on can be profound and will be affected not only by the severity of the experience itself but also by such things as a person´s history of distressing events, learned ways of coping, differences in personality and temperament etc. Nonetheless, it is often very important to understand an individual person´s distress in the context of his or her own history and experience, personal coping strategies and personality.
The benefits of psychotherapy besides the relief of symptoms are that patients report experiencing more satisfaction in their lives, especially with the longer term therapies.