FAQsWe asked one of our Counsellors to answers some FAQs.

It’s sometimes hard to get away from the “just get on with it” mentality that’s been common in Scotland for a long time. Combine this with the stigma of seeking professional help for emotional difficulties and it becomes harder to take that step.

At The Spark we hope to make the act of seeking help for your relationships as normal as seeing your GP. So, to demystify what’s involved in the counselling experience we asked Trish, one of our experienced Counsellors, to answer some of the common questions we’ve been asked.

How do I know if I need counselling?

There are many reasons why people come for counselling. It may be that you and your partner are arguing all the time. You may be feeling overwhelmed by a life event; or perhaps feeling anxious or stuck or unhappy a lot of the time.

Does it mean I’ve given up?

No, it doesn’t mean you’ve given up. All sorts of people come for counselling for all sorts of reasons. It may be because of stressful life events. These can be hugely varied. A change of job, a new baby or the loss of a loved one may cause difficulties and leave you struggling to cope. Coming to counselling may mean you have run out of ideas for fixing a problem.

People who come for counselling often show great courage and determination. They are people who want to find ways to change their lives and to feel happier.

Will counselling make me feel better?

Counselling can be hard work. There may be tears. Almost without exception people who come for counselling say they are glad they came. Some make huge changes in their lives. For others a small change is hugely significant.

I’m not sure of the roles in a counselling session. Is talking to a Counsellor like talking to a friend?

Friends often want to offer advice or take sides. A Counsellor does not offer advice or apportion blame. Your Counsellor will help you to tell your story and make sense of what is happening in your life. He/she will help you to work out what your future life could look like and then help you to plan the ways in which you will make that happen.

How regularly do I need to see my Counsellor?

People usually see their Counsellor for an hour once a week. The Counsellor usually makes an initial agreement for 6 weekly sessions of an hour. This may be extended if you and your Counsellor agree that there is more work to be done.

Confidentiality – who will know about it? Do I need to tell my employer?

Your Counsellor will give you a contract guaranteeing confidentiality. This confidentiality would only be broken if the Counsellor thought that you or someone else was in physical danger and they would discuss this with you first.

If you have been referred for counselling by your employer, and they are paying, then we will let your employer know how many times you have attended. We will not tell them anything about you or the content of your counselling sessions.


If you think you might benefit from counselling, contact us on Appointments 0845 271 2711, 9am-8pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am-5pm on Fridays. You can also read more information on Relationship Counselling and Family Counselling on our website.

Have any questions that we didn’t answer here? Want to share your thoughts on counselling? Tweet us @SparkScotland to let us know.

Counsellor, Couples And Individuals, Relationships, The Spark