Skillful Counselling

Skillful counselling cannot take months or years and has to be more than a safe place to talk. Skillful counselling must also surely be more than counselling techniques?

Well it can.

Two propositions:

  1. The majority of emotional problems are a coping strategy and response to a life that is not working – that not only does not help but actually makes the work life balance worse.
  2. And what can be done is to change those emotional patterns and coping strategies – and so facilitate a virtuous (and not vicious) circle, which leads to a life that works.

The text below is one answer – whether helping clients who are depressed, anxious addicted or angry or enduring failing relationships, low self confidence and high stress:

  • Cultivate an expectancy of success

By focussing on the expectation of a good outcome, the client’s own healing capacity is activated.  See detail on this here

  • Understand the emotion being expressed

Human beings are emotional animals and so the emotions expressed by each client must be understood. High emotions or arousal hides the message the emotions are trying to communicate.  See detail on this here

  • Clear unhelpful patterns from the past

We are creatures of habit whereby emotions can easily be triggered unconsciously. This can impact on our capacity to have a balanced and satisfying life and if this is the case, then the triggering has to be cleared.  See detail on this here

  • Resolve Trauma Quickly

Trauma is often present in emotionally distressed people and good therapy must have the means to de-traumatise. See detail on this here

  • Access and build resources and then problem solve and rehearse

Problem solving means taking effective action to get our essential needs met. Rehearsal and visualisations that enhance our capacity to take the right action can be essential to facilitate change. See detail on this here


The above is skilful counselling (I would say). What it is not is diagnosis and treatment as understood by most mental health practitioners. There is no medical model implied here – that mental distress is an illness and should be approached as one.

Detailed diagnosis is the pretence and conceit of the psychiatric profession and many modern counsellors also. That mental illness is no different from physical illness – when actually it is a million miles away. And that there is no place for skilful counselling.

For how can diagnoses serve any purpose other than to confuse and to misdirect when there are no chemical or biological markers for any mental illness? Mental distress diagnosis is no more than descriptions of behaviours? There are no specific and clearly differentiable treatments for a diagnosis once it is made – at least none that I know?

View these YouTube videos if you doubt this:

Dr Thomas Szasz on Psychiatry

What’s Wrong with Psychiatry? A Psychiatrist Explains…

Psychiatry: An Industry Of Death 1/10

Psychiatrists on Psychiatry

These Skillful Counselling elements are the basis of how I work. And they really do help to make the difference for the majority of distressed and at times desperate people who contact me. I know because I keep the hard evidence.  And very likely they can help you too.