Counselling involves talking through your feelings, thoughts, or concerns and exploring your life to achieve a greater understanding.   It cannot provide a magic cure for problems, however, it can be useful in helping you to find your own answers.
 
Short-term counselling can be effective in resolving a specific crisis or a problem. Whereas when working on breaking more established patterns of thinking, feeling, behaving and relating or complex problems, then longer term counselling may be more helpful.
 
It is important to be realistic about expectations in therapy and the process is often difficult and painful. Change can take time and once you have agreed to start counselling it is important that you commit to the process to see it through.

What is Counselling Psychology?
It can be confusing making sense of the many different titles and descriptions used by professionals.  Hopefully the outline below will help clarify:
 
Counselling psychologists
Counselling psychologists have a degree in psychology and then at least a further three years of post-graduate training including a Masters, Post-Graduate Practitioner Diplomas or Doctorates; and completion of a minimum of 400 hours of supervised client contact. This includes training to practise in at least two models of therapeutic approach. 
 
Counselling psychology combines the art of counselling with the science of psychology. Counselling psychologists tend to have a more holistic and interpersonal approach to conditions.  By integrating a wide range of psychological theories and clinical evidence it allows flexibility to meet the individual needs of the client.
 
Psychiatrists
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialise in psychiatry and unlike psychologists, psychotherapists or counsellors, are permitted to prescribe medication for psychological problems.
 
Psychologists
Psychologists have a degree in psychology and are subsequently trained in specialist areas such as clinical, counselling, educational, health and other fields.
 
Counsellors and Psychotherapists
There is not always a clear distinction between counsellors and psychotherapists and it is often a matter of subjective approach.  However, psychotherapy training is longer and generally tends to involve deeper and longer work.  Counsellors often concentrate on specific issues and seek a way to resolve them together with the client.
 
Ethics
As a Chartered Counselling Psychologist I abide by the BPS code of ethics and BACP code of conduct. I am committed to continuous professional development (CPD) and carry full professional liability insurance.
 
Why is Chartered status important?
When a psychologist is registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the BPS, members of the general public can be confident that they are properly qualified. The title 'Practitioner Psychologist' is protected by the privy council and the Health and Care Processions Council and is a guarantee that the person you are consulting is fully qualified.

Why is the voluntary register of counsellors important 
BACP Registered status is a sign to clients that they can be confident that a registered BACP member adheres to high standards of proficiency and ethical practice.
 

The unexamined life is not worth living – Socrates