WHAT IS COUNCELLING?

  • The process that occurs when a client and counsellor set aside time in order to explore difficulties which may include the stressful or emotional feelings of the client.
  • The act of helping the client to see things more clearly, possibly from a different view-point. This can enable the client to focus on feelings, experiences or behaviour, with a goal to facilitating positive change.
  • A relationship of trust.  Confidentiality is paramount to successful counselling.  Professional counsellors will usually explain their policy on confidentiality, they may, however, be required by law to disclose information if they believe that there is a risk to life.
  • Giving advice.
  • Judgemental.
  • Attempting to sort out the problems of the client.
  • Expecting or encouraging a client to behave in a way in which the counsellor may have behaved when confronted with a similar problem in their own life.
  • Getting emotionally involved with the client.
  • Looking at a client's problems from your own perspective, based on your own value system.

A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in psychiatry, which is to say in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatrists are medical doctors, unlike psychologists, and must evaluate patients to determine whether their symptoms are the result of a physical illness, a combination of physical and mental, or a strictly psychiatric one. The translation from Greek and Latin origin is as follows: "Psych"-Greek transliterated meaning breath, life, soul, spirit or mind; "Iatro" is Greek for physician and -ist in Latin comes from "ista or iste" and the pronoun means "that one" or "specialist".

As part of the clinical assessment process they may employ a mental status examination, a physical examination, brain imaging such as computerized tomography (CT/CAT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, and blood testing. Psychiatrists prescribe medicine, and may also use psychotherapy, although the vast majority do medical management and refer to a psychologist or another specialized therapist for weekly to bi-monthly psychotherapy.

Psychologists help to ensure the health and well-being of all people: individuals, families, groups, and society as a whole.

Psychologists are doctorally-trained professionals who conduct research, perform testing, and evaluate and treat a full range of emotional and psychological challenges.

Licensed Psychologists offer a wide variety of services to the public:

  • Individual and group therapy with adults, adolescents, and children, addressing common problems such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse.
  • Work in schools to help students enhance learning.
  • Neuropsychological services to aid in the evaluation and treatment of learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, cognitive (thinking) problems, as well as stroke and head injuries.
  • Work with other professionals to improve communication skills, and increase productivity and job satisfaction.
  • Work with performers, including athletes, actors and musicians to help develop concentration, reduce anxiety and enhance performance.
  • Consult with and provide expert testimony in court proceedings.
  • Many other services where aspects of human behavior and behavioral change are important.

Counselling psychologists work with people to treat a wide range of issues, including helping them to manage difficult life events, such as bereavement and relationship difficulties. They also help people with mental health issues and disorder.

Counselling psychologists work with diverse client groups, including children, adults, families, couples and groups.

The work can vary depending on the setting and the clients, but may include:

  • undertaking assessments, including assessment of mental health needs, risk assessment and psychometric testing;
  • formulating a psychological explanation of the client's issues;
  • planning and implementing therapy;
  • evaluating the outcome of therapy;
  • establishing a collaborative working relationship with the client based on trust and respect;
  • writing reports and record-keeping;
  • training and supervision of other psychologists;
  • management, audit and development of services and organisation;
  • multidisciplinary teamworking;
  • continuing personal and professional development (CPD);
  • undertaking research, either individually or as part of a team.