What Is Counselling?

1174 Words5 Pages
Answer the question ‘What is counselling?’ by outlining what you understand to be the key elements that constitute the practice of counselling. This discussion will begin by considering two definitions of counselling, moving on to identify key elements of practice and what makes counselling different from other professions where counselling skills may be used. Finally the discussion will consider the role of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) which regulates the profession. In order to answer this question, it is necessary to consider definitions of counselling from both professional and client perspectives. This definition is the professional perspective from the BACP: ‘Counselling takes place when…show more content…
In having a register of counsellors, the public can find a counsellor who meets these standards and are protected from those who practice as unregistered counsellors and who may be potentially harmful to them. As a regulatory body it has an Ethical Framework (BACP, 2009) which registered counsellors are required to work within. This framework covers all areas of counselling practice including values and principles, guidance for good practice and professional conduct. Counsellors are expected to be committed to the principles of respect for human rights and the diversity of the experiences and culture of their clients. They have to ensure integrity within their professional relationships with clients and provide a good standard of practice. This includes making a contract with the client so the client knows what to expect. This would cover issues such as fees, timing of sessions, confidentiality and occasions when confidentiality would need to be breached such as child protection issues or the risk of harm to themselves or others. The contract should also explain the complaints procedure so the client knows what to do if they have a problem with the counsellor. Also mentioned in the BACP framework are the personal skills and qualities of the counsellor (BACP, 2009) which are very important as the counsellor needs to have these qualities in order to
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