What is Counselling, and how is it practiced? A Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program


P1 - What is counselling, and how is it done? 
by Dr Jim Byrne
Updated: 3rd May 2014


A good counsellor is a lifelong learner: "Studying theories of counselling and therapy is both an intellectual undertaking and a personal journey.  All people develop a set of ideas, albeit not fully articulated, about how people become the way they are, how they stay the way they are - often at a great personal cost - and how they can change.  As a counselling and therapy student you are challenged to develop a more thorough and accurate theory of human behaviour so that you can help clients more.  However, when reviewing these theoretical approaches you will find yourself applying the concepts to yourself and testing whether they have validity for helping you to become happier and more fulfilled.  Thus, the fruits of your studying counselling and therapy approaches will become manifest in how you influence both clients' biographies and your own autobiography". 

Richard Nelson-Jones, Theory and Practice of Counselling and Therapy, 2001. (2) 


What follows is a brief introduction to Information Pack No.1:


P1 - What is counselling, and how is it done? 

by Dr Jim Byrne

Updated: 3rd May 2014


DrJim_in-Scarboro_2010c.jpgHello and welcome to this introduction to Pack 1 - What is counselling, and how is it done?

There are many reasons why you might want to consult this Information Pack.  You might need to use counselling skills in a non-counselling role - such as youth work, social care, health care, or any number of emergency service roles. 

On the other hand, if you are just about to begin a course in counselling, then this information pack could help you, by offering you what is called an 'advance organizer' of the subject.  An advance organizer is a kind of 'map of the territory' to be studied.  If you were to go into a jungle without having first seen a map, drawn from an ariel view, it would be very easy for you to get lost.  With an advance organizer, or map of the territory, already in your mind, you can more easily find your way around. 

If you are already some way into your counselling studies, you could find this resource page to be an aid to your creative thinking about the nature of counselling and therapy, because it presents you with a number of different models of counselling and therapy, which, when considered side by side, almost always give rise to some new ideas about how counselling could be done differently. 

For several years, this Information Pack has been one of the most popular pages on this website.  Originally designed to answer some simple questions about the definition of counselling, it grew and grew into something which was very supportive for counselling students, and others, in gaining an understanding of this field of study.  It has also been used by existing professional counsellors who wanted to add some new dimensions to their practice; or to get some creative ideas to work with.

We hope you find this information pack helpful, no matter what your current need happens to be.


The benefits of studying this Information Pack:

If you decide to study this information pack, this is what you will gain:

1. A very good overview of the subject: 'What is counselling?'

2. Some very interesting definitions of 'counselling'.

3. A good understanding of the origins and roots of counselling and therapy.

4. An inside view of what happens in counselling.

5. Insights into the person-centred, the psychodynamic and the cognitive-behavioural approaches to counselling (including video presentations).

Here is a sample video clip:



6. Insights into client experiences of counselling.

7. Overview of the cognitive-emotive approach to counselling; and the resolution of anger.

8. Introduction to accreditation, ethics and personal safety in counselling.

9. An insight into the listening skills used in counselling and therapy.

10. Some ideas about Transactional Analysis, Existential counselling and Impact Therapy.

11. Research on the equivalence of outcomes from different forms of counselling.

12. A contrasting of the non-directive and the active approaches to counselling and therapy.

13. Some ideas about attachment theory in counselling and therapy.  And:

14. A good understanding of empathy; what it is; why it's important in counselling and therapy; your own empathy level, and how to improve it.

In particular, you will get this information boiled down into easy-to-digest packages!  And you can choose which packages to study!





This is how the Information Pack begins:

In simple terms, counselling involves one person (the counsellor) helping another person (the client) to work through some difficult or painful emotional, behavioural or relationship problem or difficulty.  That is the form of individual counselling. 

In practice there are probably almost as many definitions and descriptions of the process called ‘counselling' as there are theorists who have written on this subject.  At one stage, the number of systems of counselling and therapy was said to be more than 400.  So narrowing down our definition to manageable proportions is going to be our major challenge.

My dictionary of psychology defines counselling like this:

"The practice or profession of applying psychological theories and communication skills to clients' personal problems, concerns or aspirations". Andrew Colman (2002) Oxford Dictionary of Psychology.


In this Information Pack, I have presented descriptions and video elaborations from the three main schools of thought: the cognitive-behavioural, the psychodynamic and the humanistic.

...End of extract.



How to access this Info Pack...

To begin reading this valuable resource, you will need to pay the Access Fee, which is required to ensure the upkeep of this web page.  (The fee is for access to a resource which was written or compiled by Jim Byrne and/or Renata Taylor-Byrne.  That resource may also contain some elements - such as video clips - some of which are already in the public domain).

The access fee has been set very low, at just £4.75 £3.45 GBP for a minimum of 90 days of continuous access (subject to normal functioning of web servers and internet technology).

In addition to Info Pack P1, you will also gain access to various bonus features, and also to Resource 4 Sixteen videos on counselling.

To gain access to this resource:

1. You need to click the yellow-highlighted link below, which will take you to ClickBank (a secure server which we have used for thousands of transactions over a twelve year period without a single problem).

2. You can pay with your credit/debit card, or with your PayPal account.

I hope you find this very popular and highly valued resource helpful.

Pay Now: To purchase access to this resource (including the *Bonus Features* listed on this page), please click this link now:Information Pack P1 - What is Counselling, and how is it done?***




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