by Harley Therapy
Reviewed by Dr Sheri Jacobson

Counselling involves talking through what is troubling you in a safe, supportive environment.

Our UK counsellors or psychotherapists can help you to discuss and understand any presenting emotions which you may have difficulty understanding. A qualified counsellor will work with you to build a relationship based on trust, empathy and support. Each counselling experience is unique, with results individual to you.

What is counselling?

Counselling in the UK and globally incorporates talking therapies to assist you in understanding yourself better; allowing you to share whatever is troubling you within a safe, supportive environment.

Counselling is more effective than talking to a friend. Instead of offering advice, counselling provides a fresh, professional perspective on the issues you are facing while teaching you relevant coping strategies. You may find it easier to speak to a professional counsellor than a family member or friend, as they are not personally involved in your situation.

Counselling can cover a number of talking therapies, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy and humanistic/person-centred therapy. There are also many newer counselling approaches, sometimes known as third-wave therapies. These include dialectical behaviour therapy, cognitive analytic therapy and more.

Whether or not you are based in the UK, counselling with UK counsellors and psychotherapists can now be accessed online from wherever you are online and by phone. You can see counsellors offering sessions online as soon as tomorrow here.

What are the different types of counselling?

  • individual counselling
  • couples counselling; read more
  • family counselling; read more
  • online counselling via Skype or chat; read more
  • telephone counselling; read more
  • group counselling

Harley Therapy's Guarantee

If you don't feel satisfied with your first counselling session for any reason, we'll offer you a session with an alternative therapist at our expense.

I would like a personalised counsellor recommendation

No problem! Just fill in the below and one of our team will be in touch shortly:

Who can benefit from counselling?

At Harley Therapy, we believe counselling can help anyone to transform their lives, regardless of who they are or how big their problems may be. You do not have to be in a crisis to benefit from counselling. Counselling can help if you feel distressed or wish to address specific problems, but can also assist you to boost your self-confidence and identify more effective ways of living your life.

Whilst rewarding, the journey towards change through counselling may not always be easy, requiring you to put in the time and commitment to gain results.

What issues can be addressed through counselling?

Counselling can help you work through a number of issues, including everyday worries and stresses as well as traumatic or distressing events, including relationship breakdown or the loss of a loved one. Long term psychological issues such as anxiety or depression can also be addressed through counselling. Counselling may also be beneficial to those experiencing difficulties in their career, a lack of self-confidence, patterns of poor decision making, or an unhealthy work-life balance.

What's the difference between a UK counsellor, psychotherapist and psychologist?

A qualified, professional counsellor will work with you to build a relationship based on trust, giving you the confidence to share your feelings and emotions with them. Your counsellor will listen to all that you have to share with empathy and openness.

We ensure all therapists on the Harley Therapy platform are UK registered, insured, and professionally trained counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists and cognitive behavioural therapists. UK counselling organisations have strict ethical codes and regulations to ensure that their members are qualified to practice appropriately.

Counsellors will not judge you, nor will they force you into following a particular course of action.

Three types of counsellors/therapists can offer counselling services in the UK:

Counsellors: A counsellor will have usually undertaken three years of study to become specifically trained in counselling theory and skills. Counsellors will also have a wealth of clinical experience conducting face-to-face and often online counselling. They may undertake short-term or medium-term work with their clients.

Counselling or Clinical Psychologists: A counselling psychologist will have undertaken a similar training program to a counsellor or psychotherapist, but will also hold a higher education degree in psychology. This allows them to benefit from a broader scientific knowledge of the human mind and human behaviour. All practising counselling psychologists must be registered with the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC.)

Psychotherapists: A psychotherapist will have similar training to a counsellor, however, their training tends to be more in-depth (four to seven years) and psychotherapists are more likely to work long-term with their clients. There are many types of psychotherapists, but they all have a common focus of helping you to understand the impact of your past experiences on your present emotions and actions, to find the best way forward for you.

What can you expect from a counselling session?

During your first meeting, you and your counsellor can discuss the length of your session (usually 50 minutes), whether future sessions would be helpful and when your sessions would take place. Counselling sessions will end at the time agreed between you and your counsellor, so it is important that you are prompt in attending each session. Counselling can be undertaken as a short-term course conducted over weeks, months or longer-term.

Your counsellor will offer you thorough attention throughout the session. They will encourage you to explore problems you may be facing and share any emotions and thoughts that arise. They may initiate silences to prompt reflection, ask relevant questions about what you have shared, and clarify points to ensure they have a clear understanding of your discussion. Conversations should not feel like an interview or idle small talk, although your first session may involve more questions than usual, as you and your counsellor get to know each other.

There is no ‘typical’ or standard way of working during a therapy session. Some therapists may find it useful to set out an agenda for each session and review your progress frequently, helping you to acknowledge what is working successfully for you. Counsellors may set homework tasks or topics to investigate in your own time away from therapy, helping you to maintain progress between sessions.

There will be times during your counselling sessions where it may be necessary to discuss uncomfortable or painful things. Whatever is discussed between yourself and your counsellor will remain confidential (excluding legal and ethical exceptions and the monitoring of therapists by a supervisor). Counsellors will support you through this process.

What results can you expect from your counselling session?

Each counselling experience is unique, with results individual to you. The commitment you make to your counselling sessions and what you desire to achieve from each session can affect the results of the counselling process.

General results may include (but are not limited to):

  • a better perspective on your life
  • stronger knowledge of yourself and others
  • higher resilience in the face of life's challenges
  • a clearer understanding of the choices that will result in your contentment
  • improved ability to cope with anxiety and stress
  • clarity about your hopes for the future
  • how to take positive steps towards your goals

Counselling UK & worldwide - How to find a counsellor

Whenever you’re ready, we’re here to help you book counselling online with qualified, professional counsellors and psychotherapists to talk to online globally and face-to-face across the UK, with counselling available in London, Bristol, Manchester and all major cities.

At Harley Therapy, we vet our therapists to ensure that they are registered and insured to practice as a therapist in the UK. The booking process is quick, easy and affordable.

You can filter our qualified, professional and vetted therapists by location, cost, availability, approach so that you can find and book your best match simply and quickly.

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