I missed this session so my learning journal is based on the powerpoint presentation and self-study.
There are different ways of helping people, such as having a talk with a friend or seeking help in a more formal capacity from a helping professional like a counsellor, social worker, psychiatrists, doctor etc.
There are also different types of helping. For example Citizens Advice Bureu provides advice on issues such as debt management and welfare benefits, housing, immigration, employment and consumer complaints. Whereas career advice focuses on providing help and advice on job search, work situation, training needs and so on.
This type of helping focus on providing practical help to solve a specific problem or issue.
GPs are often the first point of contact when a person has physical or mental health problems. They are looking after the whole wellbeing of the person what ever they situation is. However, based on my experience this is rarely happening in practise. Due to lack of GP resources focus is on handing over the medication rather than looking the person as a whole.
All these helpers may use counselling skills but in their professional capacity providing help and advice in the specific area and not following any specific theoretical framework. Whereas the focus of the counselling is not to give advice but enable the person to discover things for themselves.
Counselling (or therapy) that focuses on personals mental health are provided by trained therapist. According to NHS talking therapies are psychological treatments for mental and emotional problems like stress, anxiety and depression.
NHS lists the following talking therapies on their website: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), guided self-help, counselling, behavioural activation, interpersonal therapy (IPT), eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). All these therapies are provided by a therapist who has the relevant education, licensing and professional credentials. (
We often try to use our friends as helpers and counsellers. This rarely works as a friendship requires reciprocity. In other words we pay back what we receive from the other, for example if my friend listens my problems, she expects in return that when she has problems I will listen her. In my experience friends rarely wants specific advice even if they ask it. Im a good listener but I dont share much of my thoughts or feelings with my friends as I dont feel that would help me.
We all can find ourselves in a situation where we need to provide someone with the time and space to talk through their thoughts and feelings. I often come across this as a manager and I have been in the situation several times where an employee has been very emotional and needed somebody to listen them and I have been felt helpless as I havent had tools to handle the situation. I understand now that it is important to express the limitations of my abilities as a helper. For example telling that Im not a trained counsellor but Im happy to listen what you would like to share with me and keep everything confidential unless something indicates there being a danger for yourself or others.
It is important to set and keep boundaries in a helping session to ensure that the helpee feels safe and