Ask Jigsaw: What is counselling?
What is counselling?
We hear the term ‘counselling’ used a lot, and in reality it can mean different things to different people. The Cambridge Dictionary defines counselling as ‘the job or process of listening to someone and giving them advice about their problems’. Probably most of us do this with our friends, although we would not necessarily say we are counsellors.
Often the term counselling is used interchangeably with terms like ‘therapy’ or ‘psychotherapy’. It can be confusing to know what is the difference or whether there is any difference at all. Broadly speaking, counselling comes under the umbrella term of ‘talking therapy’. When someone is struggling with an aspect of their mental health, for example feeling down or anxious, talking to someone can help with understanding what is going on and finding ways to cope better.