Counsellors are health professionals who talk to you about issues in your life, and help solve them. There are different types of counsellors, with different approaches. Seeing someone can be rocky to begin with, but you should stick it out if you feel good about that counsellor. There are also a number of places you can go to find a counsellor if you would like to make an appointment.

This could be for you if:

  • You're thinking of seeing a counsellor
  • You want someone other than a GP to help with mental health problems 
  • You want to know how to get counselling through Medicare
  • You want to know about confidentiality
young guy sitting on park bench in autumn with head in hands

What's a counsellor?

A counsellor is someone you talk to about what's bothering you. They can suggest ways that you can deal with stuff, and sometimes just the act of talking about it makes you see solutions you didn't know were there. Counsellors often work at schools, unis, technical institutes, community health centres, family planning clinics and in private practice.

Choosing a counsellor

You can get a counsellor whose approach and personality suits you. You'll want to be working with one you trust, as the safer you feel the more likely you are to get the help you need. You can change counsellors if you feel one person or approach isn't right for you.

Find out more about who you can talk to.

After counselling

You might feel better after talking to a counsellor for the first time, or you might not and either reaction is okay. Some people feel a bit unsettled after their first session but this doesn't mean it's not for them – counselling can bring up difficult stuff, and everyone has their own reaction. It can also be because the first session is lots of questions about what is going on and not so much counselling. It usually gets better after this!

Talk to your counsellor about what the sessions bring up, and plan a way to deal with these feelings. It might take a few sessions before any benefits become clear, so stick it out for a little bit.

Find someone to talk to

Check out the services in the 'Finding services and professionals' fact sheet , where you can find more information on where to go.

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 12 August, 2015
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