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People in a variety of less-than-ideal situations can benefit enormously from the care and attention provided by a counsellor and, as people have caught on to the advantages of being able to speak to and share emotions with an impartial third party, the demand for counsellors specialising in a range of fields has grown significantly.
Counsellors work with all types of people, in a range of environments, such as children at school, adults in the workplace, patients in hospitals and married couples and individuals at home. Some specialise in one or two areas, whereas others will work with a whole spectrum of patients and clients, including people who are mourning the death of a loved one, victims of severe accidents, assault, sexual abuse or domestic violence, couples experiencing marital problems, people living with mental health problems, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, stress, anger, low self-esteem, addiction or any other condition which is hindering the individual from leading a happy life.
Some counsellors will work from their own practices. Some work full-time in hospitals, schools and care homes. Others might meet patients or clients either at home or in a controlled environment, such as in a school.
The first thing a counsellor needs to do is assess the client and quickly try to build a bond of trust in order that progress can be made.
Depending on the situation, they might work with people close to the client, for example, with a teacher, a parent or a doctor, and get as much background information as possible on the client.
Counsellors will give all relevant advice and suggest the best courses of action for the client to take in order to make improvements to their life. Another responsibility of a counsellor is to encourage clients to help themselves and to identify ways of doing so. They refer people to others, such as doctors or specialists and write assessment and progress reports on their patients or clients.