Professional Counselling Association
of the ACT and NSW Inc

What is Counselling?

There are many definitions for what is counselling, here are some from our board members and some official ones recorded by various institutions and organisations.  Due to the diversity in counselling approaches, huge variety of theoretical perspectives and personal styles from counsellors and expectations from clients,  the definition itself is open to discussion and can be difficult. The process is dynamic and highly personalised between the therapist and the client.

Counselling is a way of exploring your personal situations and problems with a professional who is empathic, impartial and non-judgemental. Counselling does not provide magical answers or advice but assists you to explore yourself and find resolution. Counselling may explore past and present relationships and can therefore be upsetting, however counselling can help you understand your situation and your problems within it. Counselling may lead to recognition and direct you to resolution.  

Lorraine Dailey (Secretary PCA)

Counselling is often defined as the talking cure helping people to identify and resolve problems and issues.

Grahame Smith (President PCA)

Counselling is a confidential forum that allows an individual to openly discuss personal and deep-seated emotional issues in an impartial, empathetic and non-judgemental environment. A qualified counsellor can then assist that person, and show them a pathway to resolve those issues.

Professional guidance of the individual by use of standard psychological methods such as collecting case-history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. The counsellor's goal is generally to orient the individual toward opportunities that can best guarantee fulfilment of his personal needs and aspirations. The counsellor usually attempts to clarify the client's own thinking rather than to solve his problems.

(Webster's on line Dictionary)

Counselling and Psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their well-being.

BACP- British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists

Counselling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.

American Counselling Association

Counselling can be a long term or a short-term experience, focusing on your specific issue/s or problem/s which are currently troubling you. Clients are free to choose the number of their sessions. 

The counselling process begins to explore your emotions, feelings, thoughts, body sensations and symptoms and helps you to understand what is happening to you. 
Personal Counselling is a chance to talk over what is on your mind with an objective person who can help you learn new skills and ways of looking at situations so that you will be more capable of solving new problems on your own in the future.

Vicky Kapatos (Board Member)

© Professional Counselling Association of the ACT and NSW Inc
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