Counselling is an established profession in which a trained counsellor seeks to enable a client to understand and learn to deal with a wide variety of issues in their life. These could be current problems, immediate crisis, or long-term difficulties. It is different from teaching, caring and advice giving, and requires a particular kind of training. Counselling takes place in a confidential setting and is a contracted, professional relationship, which is based on ethical principles such as respect, and which can take place face-to-face, by telephone, or online. It varies from short or long-term, i.e., 6-12 sessions, to a year or more. Counselling can be with an individual, a couple, or in a group (family and non-related groups). The frequency of counselling may vary, but generally, it is offered once a week.
It is also possible to learn to use counselling skills in other kinds of work, without seeking to become a professional counsellor.