What is counselling?

Counselling is a “talking therapy” which facilitates a person talk to talk about difficulties in their lives and difficult feelings they are experiencing, in a safe, non-judgmental and confidential environment.

Counselling can mean different things to different people but, fundamentally, it is a process a person seeks when they wish to change something in their lives, or simply explore their thoughts and feelings in more depth.

A counsellor is not there to tell a person what to do but to facilitate them to talk about the difficulties they are facing in order to uncover any root causes, identify specific ways of thinking, help them work through problems, and help them to find ways of coping better.

How is counselling different to psychiatry?

In counselling the focus is on supporting a person to talk about their difficulties with the aim to improve their mental health and to empowering them to make the changes they need to make to better their lives. A counsellor is not a doctor or a psychiatrist and will never prescribe medication.

Describe the service and the way it works

When a person is referred to us for counselling, first a needs assessment is carried out then they are matched up with a counsellor who is best suited to support them who will see them for regular sessions. Counselling sessions are usually held on a weekly basis, but it can be less or more dependant on the particular needs and circumstances of the client.

We can offer face-to-face counselling as well as counselling via video call, as well as via telephone in exceptional circumstances.

Our approach to counselling

No person exists independently of their environments, thus, a person’s mental health cannot be viewed of as existing separately to their social and cultural environments. When working with clients we consider their socio-cultural circumstances and context within which they live and social advocacy is an integral part of our work. At Tama we work holistically and draw on a number of perspectives and approaches in our counselling work. Every person has different needs and thus will require us to also adapt in the counselling approach used (for example, we CBT, Trauma Focused Therapy, Gestalt, Person Centered).

How mental health affects a person’s ability and how counselling helps.

Poor mental health can manifest in many ways. Low mood, anxiety, sadness, a sense of hopelessness are just a few of the ways. In more serious cases it can manifest as flashbacks to traumatic events, psychosis, and suicidal ideation. Poor mental health can affect a person’s self-confidence, their ability to work or to maintain relationships. It can cause loss of appetite and sleep problems and difficulty in carrying out everyday tasks.

Counselling can help a person better understand and find a way to cope and overcome even very difficult and traumatic experiences and emotions.