If you’re struggling with how you feel, your emotions or your mental health – don’t bottle it up or face it alone.

Reaching out to talk to a counsellor can be a really positive step to help your mental health and wellbeing. And it’s not a sign of weakness to do so. It’s a strength.

One in four men has had counselling. And one in three men agree it’s better to seek therapy for a problem before it gets out of hand.

After all, you take care of your body and look after your physical health. It’s important you do the same for your mind and your mental health too.

What is counselling?

Counselling can give you a safe and confidential space to talk to a skilled and trained professional about your issues and concerns. It’s time dedicated to you and any problems you’re facing.

A counsellor will help you explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours so you can develop a better understanding of yourself and of others. They will help you realise why you feel and behave the way you do, and they may provide tools and coping strategies that you can use in every day life.

How can talking about your problems help?

Talking to a counsellor is different to opening up to friends and family. They will listen to everything you have to say and provide an independent, non-judgemental perspective.

They don’t offer advice or give opinions, instead they'll help you find your own solutions.

You might find it hard to talk about how you feel at first, but counsellors are trained to know how best to support you. 

What can counselling help with?

People often choose to have counselling because they're experiencing difficulties and distress in their lives.

Counselling can help you deal with depression, anxiety or stress, cope with traumatic experiences and life events or manage harmful emotions and behaviours.

But you don’t have to be in crisis to seek counselling. Therapy can also help you become more self-aware, form better relationships and to reach your potential.

How do you find someone to talk to?

You may be able to see a counsellor through your GP or the NHS, from where you work or study, or through charities and voluntary services. This may be free but there can be long waiting lists and you may be limited in who you can see and for how long.

Or you can pay to see a private counsellor. This gives you a wider choice and you may be able to see someone more quickly and perhaps for longer.

Why choose a BACP member?

Anyone can call themselves a counsellor or psychotherapist, so it’s important you choose a therapist who’s listed on a Professional Standards Authority accredited register – such as the BACP register.

Choosing a BACP-registered counsellor gives you an assurance that they meet the standards of proficiency, training and ethical practice you would expect.