Counselling refers to the relationship whereby a professional counsellor provides guidance, feedback and support to another individual with their personal and professional issues.   The word counselling is based on the Latin root word ‘consilium’ which means to take counsel or to consult. 

While modern therapy can be traced back to the 1800’s, the days of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, one of the most influential people that helped shape counselling today is Carl Rogers.  He focused on the client-centered approach where the counsellor was empathic but non-judgmental and where there existed a relationship of trust between counsellor and client.  The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association generally refers to counselling as:  “ the skilled and principled use of relationship to facilitate self- knowledge, emotional acceptance and growth and the optimal development of personal resources.”  The goals of counselling include: enable clients to move towards more satisfying living, to identify and resolve personal issues,  help with developmental problems, to process conflicts with others, to help make decisions, and to assist with personal development.

 Choosing an appropriate counsellor is based on the type of problem that the client is facing and the comfort level he or she has with the counsellor.   It is also advisable for a client to check credentials and experience of the counsellor before entering into any sessions.   There are many types of counselling:  family, marital, relationship, drug and addiction, career, children and adolescent, geriatric and others.

A typical counselling session can be 30 minutes up to 1 hour and can be conducted in person or even over the phone in some cases. 

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