Frequently Asked Questions about Counselling
Q. What happens in the counselling session?
A. At LifeWorks, counselling sessions usually run for an hour. During this time, the counsellor may ask some questions, and encourage you to talk about “what’s on your mind” and what might be troubling you. Counselling does not give advice but rather helps you to find new ways to think about things, to find new frameworks by which to consider things. It is a chance for you to talk through issues or experiences and for the counsellor to listen in helpful and non-judgmental ways.
Q. Do I need a referral?
A. No, you do not need a referral. Contact LifeWorks and make a booking at one of our branches.
Q. How often do I need to come to counselling?
A. This is an individual decision and is worked out with your counsellor.
Q. How many counselling sessions should I have?
A. There is no ‘set number’ of counselling sessions. Every person attending counselling does so for different reasons, so the number of sessions is determined by the topics you wish to discuss and depends on your individual needs.
Q. How will you know if counselling has been successful?
A. Counselling is successful when you are empowered to take good and constructive action on your on behalf.
At the end of counselling you will be left with a sense of being better able to manage your personal circumstances and a greater sense of personal ‘agency’ to influence the events in your own life. You will have an enhanced emotional ‘tool kit” to help you make decisions and to see things more clearly
Q. What sort of topics or experiences are suitable for a counselling session?
A. Any subjects or experiences, from an everyday concern to a unique circumstance or situation (like a separation) are suitable for a counselling session. Counselling addresses concerns across many lifestyle and life stage events and circumstances.
Common reasons why people seek out counselling include:
- Relationship difficulties, e.g. frequent fights, extramarital affairs, sexual worries, loss of intimacy.
- Illness, grief and loss.
- Life transition and adjustment issues.
- Personal growth and understanding.
- Addictive behaviours.
- Sexuality and sexual identity.
- Anxiety, stress or depression.
- Individuals or couples considering marriage.
- New parents facing change.
- Bringing up teenagers.
- Separation or divorce issues.
- Adjustment to step-family arrangements.
- Violence and abuse in the relationship.
- Workplace problems, retrenchment or retirement.
Q. What if my partner does not want to come to counselling?
A. If your partner does not want to attend a joint or couple counselling session, you may like to start on your own. By attending the session, you are demonstrating that you value the relationship, are willing to work on the issues and may gain insights and new skills that you can bring to the relationship.
Your partner is then always welcome to join in the future. Whether you do this with the existing Counsellor or a new Counsellor is something that is negotiated with you and your partner.
Q. Will counselling be confidential?
A. Yes, anything discussed within the counselling session will remain private and confidential. As an organisation approved under the Family Law Act 1975, a LifeWorks Counsellor cannot reveal what is said in a counselling session and cannot give evidence in Court about what has been said in the counselling session.
These confidentiality provisions, however, are limited where there is a need to:
- Protect a child or children.
- Prevent or lessen a serious or imminent threat to life, health or property.
- Prevent the commission or likely commission of a crime.
- Prevent violence or a threat of violence to a person or property.
Q. Does the Counsellor take notes from the session?
A. Yes, the Counsellor may take notes during the session to assist in the process and for reference in future sessions. These written notes are confidential and stored securely in LifeWorks’ locked and secured case records system.
Q. Do I have to prepare beforehand for a counselling session?
A. No, though it does help to think about what you want to talk about and make notes about things that you want to discuss in the session if you feel comfortable. Throughout the counselling, your Counsellor may invite or encourage you to think about (reflect) on the things that are being discussed in the counselling sessions.
Q. Can I select a male or a female Counsellor?
A. LifeWorks’ Counsellors are allocated based on appointment availability rather than gender. However, if you have a specific request or preference, please let LifeWorks’ reception know when booking an appointment and this will be taken into account.
Q. What are the different counselling approaches used at LifeWorks?
A. LifeWorks’ Counsellors use a range of different counselling and therapeutic approaches or counselling ‘modalities’ to offer assistance to you; including psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, gestalt therapy and solution focused psychotherapy.
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy: explores unconscious thoughts and emotions and aims to build a greater self awareness and understanding of past influences on current behaviour.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy: focuses on identifying, understanding and managing both thoughts (cognitions) and actions (behaviour) and developing strategies to change unhealthy thinking habits and behaviours.
- Gestalt therapy: encourages growth and self responsibility through increasing self awareness within both the mind and body.
- Solution focused psychotherapy: LifeWorks’ offers both brief therapy and longer term therapy.
- Brief therapy (or solution focused therapy as it is sometimes called): is a short term solution or goal-focused therapeutic approach which focuses on developing solutions rather than dwelling on issues. It focuses on your strengths and capabilities rather than any perceived deficits, weaknesses or limitations.