What is counseling?

Counseling involves communication between clients and counselors intended to help people:

Counseling begins with some discussion of a person's background and the concerns that led him or her to seek help. Following this initial assessment, the client and counselor come to an agreement, called the treatment contract. The treatment contract specifies the goals of treatment, treatment procedures, and a regular schedule for the time, place and duration of their treatment sessions. Sometimes this treatment contract is written down explicitly, but more often it is discussed between clients and counselor.

Talking with a counselors differs from talking with a friend in three respects that increase its likelihood of being helpful:

Many different kinds of counseling have proved effective in helping people feel better, resolve problems in living and modify their attitudes and behavior in constructive ways. Knowledgeable counselorss select and recommend a treatment approach that is known to be well-suited for addressing a clients's needs and concerns, and they tailor their procedures to fit each individual clients's personality style and life circumstances.

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