What is Counselling?

Next Step Psychotherapy and Wellbeing

What is counselling and what is it like?

Lindsay and Tracie from Next Step both acknowledge that for young people counselling can often seem like a daunting and scary experience, but they have gladly shared with us some information about the process and what its really like. Most importantly, counselling means trusting in a process that isn’t always visible. Its a journey of working through emotion, whether this is an emotion that you can’t control, or you don’t understand, its a unique process tailored for every individual’s needs. Next Step’s counselling sessions are a judgment-free and confidential space to talk about life experiences, thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Every person is unique, and Lindsay and Tracie aim to build a relationship of trust with each and everyone that they work with, with the aim of finding tailored ways to come up with solutions which will enable you to move forward. This sometimes includes working together to find coping strategies, or often just talking through what is going on in your life and how you are feeling.

Psychoeducation is an important feature of Next Step’s counselling process, especially with young people, as Lindsay uses psychological models to teach children, in a simplistic way, what is actually happening in their brain when they are feeling different emotions, for example when they are angry. This helps children to understand their own feelings better, allowing them to let go what they cant control and work on what they can. Lindsay also believes in the power of play, as this helps children to come out of their shell and feel more confident. Whether this is playing with cards, drawing, arts and crafts, or playing with sand, often play allows things to come out naturally, as children sometimes find it difficult to explain with words how they are feeling.

What to expect from a counselling session?

Next Step’s counselling aims to create a space for you to understand how and why you’re feeling a certain way. Its a place that you meet every week for 45 minutes and its tailored to every person, meaning you can talk, play, do arts and crafts, but most importantly, the choice is up to you. It is not a rigid ‘sit and talk’ process, you get to choose what you would like to do, and what you feel the most comfortable with, therefore, counselling might look different for everyone. It is a safe and compassionate space to explore emotions, feelings and behaviour – this could be feeling worried, experiencing a low-mood, or feeling affected by the pandemic or lockdown. A therapist is not a figure of authority, meaning they will never judge you. Instead, they are there to listen to you, and to help you find a solution to work through whatever you have been facing.