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It's good to talk: an insight into counselling
  1. Mark Harrison
  1. St. Lukes (Cheshire) Hospice, Winsford, England


Therapeutic movement remains valid right up to the end of life, maybe particularly so when “unfinished business” maybe hovers near. Counselling can meet and absorb the unpredictability that any client may bring to a Hospice, or any other care setting. This presentation is intended to promote the effective use of such a service in Hospices aiming to offer holistic care.

An insight into Counselling is presented, to promote understanding of how a space to talk can go far beyond other supportive relationships. Counselling can provide a lot of comfort, but it is designed to offer a whole lot more. A fictionalised re-enactment is offered, based on two actual counselling sessions, showing how highly distressing material may be worked with. It should be noted that this relates to experiences that some may find difficult to discuss.

The actual life experiences shared in any counselling is unpredictable. Once a relationship develops there is maybe an ethical duty to see it through even if a difficult referral might be made. In the palliative care realm specifically, there is sometimes maybe no time for a second attempt, or even a referral. For this reason, the added flexibility that person-centred counselling offers is useful here.

Any counselling might be seen as an emergent research process unique to the client, the counsellor and the relationship they form, allowing the client to explore whatever they may and find their way through their difficulties.

The presentation is intended to promote understanding of the space that person-centred counselling offers when facing the unpredictability there is in meeting any person in a holistic way. While this is based on an unusual and even extreme situation, the importance of being prepared to meet whatever may come is underlined.

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