Therapy – A Personal View

Therapy – A Personal View

therapy a personal view havocaThis guide has been put together by one of our members, Frog. It is a really useful look at some of the many questions people ask and it provides an excellent staring point for people who are considering starting their healing journey.

What a counsellor should be, and be able to do for you!

This is for you, so you know what counselling can do for you and the ethics in which counsellors have to work. I have heard so many awful stories and I myself have been put in difficult situations by a counsellor, so this is to arm you with information. So you know 1. What to expect and 2. What ethics the counsellor is working to.

Counselling – A Definition

‘Counselling is a process through which one person helps another through purposeful conversation in an understanding atmosphere. It seeks to establish a helping relationship in which the one counselled can express their thoughts and feelings in such a way as to :

1. Clarify their own situation

2. Come to terms with some new experience

3. See their difficulty more objectivity

4. Face their problem with less anxiety and tension

Its basic purpose is to assist the individual to make their own decisions from among the choices available to them.’

(Steering Committee of the Standing Conference for the Advancement of Counselling, 1969)


Counselling is not:-

Making people less emotional or stopping emotion, or meeting the counsellors need to make people feel better.

Challenging people’s views of a situation, giving advice, or solving people’s problems for them.

Imposing the counsellors reactions, values, ideas, on a distressed person.

Making a ‘diagnosis’ or value judgement.

It is…

To provide a supportive caring atmosphere acceptance/sharing, But it cannot provide an instant solution.

The creation of an atmosphere of permission which facilitates emotional expression

To encourage the person to identify their own coping and problem solving capabilities.

How a counselling session might go.

Counsellors do not tend to shake hands.

If it is your first session, the counsellor will tell you lots of information, number one will usually be confidentiality. Counsellors should have a supervisor, in which the counsellor can go to for advice guidance. They will not disclose your name. The only time the counsellor is duty bound to break confidentiality is if you tell them:

1. You intend to harm yourself

2. You intend to harm someone else

3. You intend to harm a child

4. You intend to commit a terrorist act.

They will usually get you to sign a piece of paper with this written on to say that you understand and have seen this information.

They should keep your file notes separate from your name, also they should have a filling system were by only the counsellor can relate the notes to your name. This information should be kept in a locked cabinet.

Boundaries, Counsellors are bound by boundaries, these are;- No personal, social or sexual contact, to define personal contact this means hugging or touching even if it is a hand on the shoulder it is still a big no no and highly unethical. Some therapists will allow hugging and touching, but only at the express permission of the Client. The boundaries will be clear and agreed by both parties before the sessions begin. Also, they must inform you of holidays and breaks. They should also be consistent with the sessions times. You will also be expected to honour this system.

Look out for BACP accredited counsellors. To become BACP accredited a counsellor needs to have met several criteria – details of which can be found here, along with lots of other useful information.

HAVOCA would like to thank Frog for putting this guide together. If you feel you’d like to know more about therapy before taking the plunge, then we thoroughly recommend that you join our forums where you will be able to meet like minded people and ask questions to survivors who have been through the same journey as you.

7 Responses to Therapy – A Personal View

  1. Neetu says:

    I am 22 and live with my mum and dad and little brother. I work with my dad in our family business and practically run the business , my dad is the problem in my way , he is getting old and takes his anger and stress out in me and my mum , he shouts at me and says things which I wiuld never imagined that someone can say . I cry every time and he thinks it’s ok to shout and hurt someone’s feelings. He has a very big anger issue but doesn’t do nothing about it. He has fallen out with his close family because he thinks he knows best all the time. I need to get out of this before I harm mysel because that’s the only way out .

  2. Elle Gee says:

    “Help” for adult survivors-example: perpetual recruitment and accountability
    Of counselors per city/state.
    If you won’t take this on,what makes you think capable? The older I get the more my reality is same as when I was child: nobody present to help-I was alone to “do it(whatever) myself. Helpless=nobody for reasonable team effort. Helpless did not mean “depending on others to do what should be done by oneself”-that is the denial used by others to continue abandon/neglect/abuse of demographic overwhelmed with real not imagined fight or flight—–or die. To pursue only children being abused is myopic -and perpetuates what should be obvious catch 22.

  3. Elle Gee says:

    My search criteria gets zero result(quelle suprise)-please advise:
    -senior adult female
    -childhood abuse trauma:
    Emotional,physical,psychological. I was not physically-sexually abused; I have no substance addiction
    -mild cod
    -failure to connect with capable trauma treatment has big cost to life quality which now threatens life (not for lack of provable rigorous effort on my part)
    -I am little more than poster child for abuse issues
    -location: St. Louis/Columbia Mo

    • HAVOCA says:

      Thats the beauty (or not) of search engines. We have thousands of pages that are relevant for you, try reducing some of the search terms. When I first started down the healing road I was very specific in what I was looking for – eg Heal Jamie from past abuse! Of course, I couldnt find the answer I was looking for but I did pick up many books and trawl many different resources. reading and soaking up as I went. I soon realised that the answer I was looking for was right there in front of me.

      I doubt this was the reply you were expecting/looking for. If you’d like to email us with specific questions I’m sure we will be able to help you.

      Good luck in your search.

  4. James says:

    Hi I am looking for help with my partner she is 45 years old and has just went into a really bad epesiode of depression and anciety, she was abused when she was younger and ive been with her for 10 years and she has never been able to talk about it. I think this is whats on her mind and she has just went into melt down she had been admitted into hairmyres ward 19 for a short period then got moved to wishaw ward 1, for about 2 weeks all in the treated her with anti depression tablets. they let her out on Friday and on Saturday night she tried to take her own life by taken lots of pills. I did not know until she notified me the next day she was drousey but I took her up to wishaw again which they said after 4 hours she was alright to go back home they thought it was better she was in a house inveriment. I explained to them that this is not normal and said she will get help. i have seen her now like staring into space shes definatly no the same person I know but the thing is now she is just not taken there calls or any medication, I think when she was abused it was a family member but she just cant cope to talk about can you please help me thanks

  5. Pat Kellum says:

    When I understand it it’s hard to see what is me and what is the abuse… it seems some of me happened because of the abuse… like it made part of me… I have tried to outrun this all my life… I… I can’t, and I don’t know what to do now…HELP

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