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Emotional support and guidance is often necessary during times of loss or other difficult life events. Here we look at supportive counselling and how to get treatment.

What is supportive counseling?

Supportive conversations aim to provide emotional support and guidance. These can be held by different types of professionals, such as psychologists, therapists, counsellors, or other qualified support people such as deacons. These sessions often focus on helping individuals deal with different types of challenges, such as stress, grief, relationship difficulties, mental health problems or life crises.

Although different from in-depth psychotherapy, the goal of counselling is to listen and provide tools and strategies to manage and improve the situation.

What set our therapist apart was her genuine empathy and personal insight. Not only did she possess a deep understanding of neurodiversity, but she also shared personal experiences that resonated with us, creating an instant connection and fostering a sense of trust!

Benedetta Osarenk


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What is supportive counselling?

Supportive counselling includes different elements which can include:

  1. Listening and empathy: A fundamental part of counselling is active listening and empathy. This means trying to understand the person’s feelings and experiences without judgement.
  2. Support and understanding: Counselling offers a safe and supportive space where individuals can express their thoughts and feelings. It is important to feel understood and validated in their experiences.
  3. Problem solving and strategies: During the sessions, there may be a focus on problem solving, with the therapist helping the individual to identify problems and develop strategies to deal with them.
  4. Emotional processing: Counselling can help individuals process and manage difficult emotions such as sadness, anxiety, stress or anger.
  5. Goals and change: Counselling can also focus on personal development to achieve specific life goals, such as improving relationships, managing work-related stress, or developing healthier habits.
  6. Resource orientation: Counselling can help individuals identify and use their own resources and strengths to deal with their challenges.
  7. Short-term intervention: Unlike more in-depth psychotherapy, counselling is often more focused and short-term, intended to provide immediate help and support.
  8. Confidentiality: Conversations are confidential, meaning that the information shared during the conversation remains between the individual and the therapist.

Support sessions are flexible and can be adapted to the individual’s unique needs and situation. They can be particularly helpful during periods of crisis or change, or when someone is experiencing challenges in their daily life.

What can counselling help with?

Counselling can help with various conditions such as:

  • crises
  • losses
  • work-related problems
  • relationship problems

Book a meeting

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What is the difference between counselling and psychological treatment?

A main difference between the two is that psychological treatment, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), often has a longer intervention that is more focused on certain problem patterns or conditions.

In psychotherapy, a thorough assessment is made before the treatment starts, and uses processes and tools that have been shown to give good results in research. Research has shown that counselling is effective but psychotherapists can provide better and more specific treatment with more sustainable results over time.

Supportive counselling can be provided by various professionals such as coaches, counsellors and curators, while psychological treatment or psychotherapy is provided by licensed persons such as psychologists or psychotherapists.

Lavendla has a team of therapists and psychologists with experience in counselling. Book an initial session today through our website to see how they can help you. We aim to make the difficult easier.


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12 common questions about counselling

What is counselling?

Counselling is a conversation aimed at providing emotional support and guidance.

Who provides counselling?

Counselling can be given by different types of professionals, such as psychologists, therapists, counsellors, or other people such as deacons.

What can counselling help with?

These sessions often focus on helping individuals deal with different types of challenges, such as stress, grief, relationship difficulties, mental health problems or life crises.

How long does a supportive counselling treatment take?

Treatment time depends on the individual but is usually short, from one to a few sessions. If you need longer treatment, you can attend psychological treatment to get more in-depth help.

What methods and techniques are used in supportive counselling?

Supportive counselling involves active listening and empathy, with a focus on understanding without judgement. It can include problem-solving and strategy development, help with processing difficult emotions such as grief and stress, and focus on personal development and goal achievement.

What is the basis of counselling?

Supportive counselling builds on the relationship between the therapist and client to help the client through a crisis or other situation where support is necessary.

Can I get counselling online?

Lavendla has a team of experienced therapists and psychologists who provide counselling online via video conference.

Are there any disadvantages to counselling?

Supportive counselling is helpful for minor events, but if you have a long-term problem that doesn’t go away after a few sessions, you may want to seek psychotherapy.

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy treatment usually carries on longer, is more focused, and is carried out by more qualified professionals.

What is a crisis?

A crisis is often a short-term difficult, unpredictable situation that poses a significant threat to the well-being, stability or functioning of an individual or group. It usually passes after a few weeks, but you may need support or treatment.

Where can I go if I need help?

Lavendla’s experienced psychologists and therapists offer counseling. Simply book an initial session through our website. In an acute mental health crisis, call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk immediately.

What is supportive treatment?

Supportive counselling is designed to provide individuals with emotional support and guidance. Here are the basic steps of supporting counselling:

  1. First contact: Counselling begins with an initial session, where the therapist or counsellor and the client speak. During this session, the client’s needs and problems can be identified. The aim is to establish an understanding of what the client is going through and what they hope to achieve from the sessions.
  2. Establishing a safe environment: It is important to create a safe and comfortable environment where the client feels free to express their feelings and thoughts without fear of judgement. Confidentiality and trust are important.
  3. Active listening and empathy: During the session, the therapist or counsellor actively listens and empathises.
  4. Identification of problems and goals: Together, the therapist and client explore the specific problems or challenges the client is facing.
  5. Support and advice: The therapist may offer support and advice to help the client deal with their problems. This may include different strategies for dealing with specific situations or emotions.
  6. Developing strategies: The client and therapist work together to develop strategies and techniques to deal with the client’s situation. This may include developing coping strategies, conflict management techniques, or creating an action plan.
  7. Evaluation and follow-up: During and at the end of the process, the therapist and the client evaluate how well the goals have been achieved and what progress has been made. Follow-up sessions can be scheduled if necessary.
  8. Closure: When the client feels they have achieved their goals or made sufficient progress, the counselling ends. Closure may also involve a transition to another form of support or treatment if necessary.

It is important to note that counselling is tailored to each individual’s unique needs and circumstances, and the process may vary depending on the situation.

Lavendla – Making the difficult easier


Written by dominic

Dominic is a Cape Town-based copywriter and editor with a background in psychology.