What is counselling and how can it help me?

Counselling is a talking treatment that aims to help you talk safely and freely with a view to helping you find inner strengths and resources to manage your difficulties more effectively and work towards living in a happier, peaceful way of life. Difficulties may include painful feelings such as anger, grief, loneliness, sadness, fear, low self esteem, anxiety, depression.

The counselling I offer is all over Switzerland and Italy and can either be over the telephone, face-to-face (in Lugano) or Skype, It can be a one-off session, it can be short-term counselling for a few weeks, or it can be long-term lasting many months or years.

My aim as a Counsellor is to help you to explore your problems and facilitate ways to help you work through your difficulties and find positive solutions to manage your life much better. For some only a few sessions are needed, other people require longer term work. Its really an individual thing.

My counselling approach

I offer a wide range of therapeutic counselling approaches which are specifically tailored to suit your individual needs.These include Person Centred Psycho-Dynamic Counselling, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Transactional Analysis. Also prior to training as a Counsellor I worked as a Senior Psychiatric Nurse for Adults and Children (specialized in both areas) . This experience often proves useful when working with clients who are suffering from mental health issues.

Person Centred Psycho Dynamic Counselling is based on the theory of how the past effects the here and now. It explores your journey of life from infant to adult and how this affects your day to day life as it is now with particular focus on your behaviours and thoughts and your relationships with others. The relationship needs to be one where the counsellor is non judgmental, shows empathy, acceptance and understanding.

Usually each Counselling session lasts for 60 minutes once a week but some people see me more often some less often. I tailor make each approach specifically for your needs.

Myths about counselling

There is a myth that attending counselling is a sign of weakness, or that you are mentally unwell. This is incorrect! Not everyone who comes for counselling has mental health difficulties. Whilst of course many people who come for counselling are in some form of emotional distress, there are many, who simply feel unable to talk to anyone who understands or that they can confide in. For some it is simply just having that “safe space to talk”, in an environment where they feel able to “off load” with someone not connected to them in their other areas of life e.g., work, family.

Indeed exploring your feelings and emotions with a view to leading a more positive way of life is a sign of courage rather than weakness. Because if problems or difficulties that are not dealt with they can mount up and in time cause significant anxiety and emotional distress.

What to look for when choosing a counsellor

It is important that you are able to feel comfortable with your counsellor and that they demonstrate a non judgemental and empathic attitude towards you.

At the present time anyone can set themselves up as a counsellor as there is no current legislation that governs the safe and appropriate practice of counsellors. In my opinion this is very concerning and I would advise that you check to see what their counselling qualifications are and whether they awarded by a recognized professional training institution ( for example maybe it was a 6 week course from the newspaper !!) Equally important is the relevance of their counselling approach to your difficulty. I am specialized in many different counseling approaches and tailor my service to meet your specific needs.

Also find out if they belong to a recognized professional body of counselling and adhere to their codes of practice? Most professional bodies have stringent checks and regulations on each therapist. For example I belong to the Swiss Association Counsellors (SGfB) as a professional and conscientious practitioner I adhere to their codes of ethics and practice.

I would also advise that your counsellor provides evidence of their qualifications and demonstrates that they have satisfactory police checks by the Criminal Records Bureau especially when working with children.