Brief Counselling or Open-ended Counselling?

“Brief/Focal” counselling or “Open Ended” counselling – which method of therapy might suit you best?

It used to be the case that I offered either brief counselling or open-ended counselling to individuals coming into counselling for the first time.

Experience has taught me that open-ended work can work through some matters in a brief way, and brief work can sometimes need an open-ended approach.  

In other words, it’s the focus of counselling that is the most important, not the length of time spent.

Having written that, I will still  go through an assessment for counselling with new clients.  An assessment is where we discuss what you need from counselling and if I’m the therapist to work with.  We’ll pay attention to the problems that you are bringing to therapy, see how you respond to what I say and ask.

Later in the assessment session, we’ll discuss our approach to the focus for counselling (open-ended / brief) and see what approaches we agree / disagree with.

Brief Counselling.

Brief counselling works on a single (usually) focus and is a set number of sessions (discussed and agreed between you and I).  The therapist and client have to be able to work well together – a kind of instant therapeutic rapport that can be used in the work click to read more.

Open Ended Counselling.

Counselling that is not limited to a set number of sessions.  But we will still work with a clear focus of our work (which might be at working towards an achievement, a change in emotional state, a transformation of life circumstances and so on).

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