Counselling is a process that usually has a beginning,
middle, and end. There are certain things a counsellor
should do in each part. This process can take place over
just a few sessions or over a longer period. Effective
counselling does not necessarily take a long time. In fact,
research shows that many times, clients feel they have
received the help they need in just three or four meetings.
Sometimes one meeting is all someone needs. The chance
to explain a problem may make it clearer or talking it out
may relieve anxiety and other problem feelings.
“When I found a person I could talk to, I would feel
a lot lighter.”5
“Once a person talks about something, they can let
it go. Then they can deal with another issue.” 6
Whether the process is short or longer, counsellors must
have the necessary skills to truly help clients.
In the beginning, the counsellor starts to build a trusting
relationship with the client and finds out important
information about the client’s problem.
In the middle part, the counsellor helps the client set goals
—make decisions about what the client wants. Once goals
are decided, the counsellor and client develop ideas about
how the client can reach those goals. During this period,
the client will try certain things. Then the counsellor and
client discuss what happened and whether the method
When the client feels he or she has achieved what he or
she wanted, the client and counsellor prepare for the end