To counsel, or counselling, in some situations might be defined as giving advice (such as a barrister or legal advisor). As a therapy, counselling is quite different. It is not the therapist’s role to give advice, but to help and support the client as they explore possible solutions to their unique problems.
The first role of a qualified counsellor is to listen to clients with total, unconditional attention and without judgement. Sometimes just be able to talk to someone who is completely unbiased can have immense therapeutic benefits. The counsellor’s second role is to empower the client to act in ways that are in their best interests, and this may be done using a variety of techniques.
A counsellor will help a client discover ways of dealing with issues in order to change their situation; learn how to cope emotionally with situations that cannot be changed; re-gain self-worth and take control of their lives.