Counselling is a form of talking therapy, carried out by a trained professional, which aims to assist clients with mental and emotional difficulties.
Counselling gives a safe space and time to talk about issues without being judged; make sense of complicated feelings; find ways to live with difficult things and help identify unhelpful behaviour or thinking patterns and change them.
Counselling is used by clients at times of difficult life events (bereavement, divorce, trauma), to address difficult emotions, and specific issues such as depression and anxiety or other mental health problems as well as long-term physical health issues.
NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, which tells NHS doctors which treatments to use for diseases and conditions) recommends counselling as part of its 2022 guidelines for depression in adults [NG222]. NICE says that for depression, 12-16 sessions of counselling can be of benefit, and more if needed where there are comorbid health conditions with the depression.
Depression in adults: treatment and management
NICE guideline [NG222]Published: 29 June 2022