• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

counselling and aches



Well-known member
May 19, 2009
Hi, I went to the doctors and was referred to a counsellor. Does anyone have any experience of counselling? What should I expect?
Also, has anyone ever had aches that just never seem to go? For a couple of weeks now I've had aches all over, but especially back, neck and shoulders. Can't be age as I'm still in my 20s. Was wondering if it could be a symptom of feeling depressed or anxiety? I'm seeing the doctor again in a couple of weeks and wondering if it would be best to mention it. May be me worrying even more and don't want to over-react.


Well-known member
Sep 18, 2010
In Devon
Hi rhubarb......welcome to the forum. A couple of things. Counselling is different to therapy, it tends to focus more on problems that are recent and may have a relatively simple solution - like getting over a bereavement or the loss of a job. You will have time to say what you experience as your difficulties and what has been happening...then you will work together on learning how to cope.
Therapy, or Psychotherapy, is somewhat different......

The aches you refer to could be as a result of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or they could be something called Fibromyalgia. Both are associated with stress and depression.....I would mention this to your doctor or pdoc at your next appointment and ask to have tests......


Well-known member
Jul 19, 2010
middle earth
My experience of NHS counselling was that it took a while for the appointment to come through - several months, in fact; though it may well be quicker than that in different areas.
I got about 10 sessions, though probably would have had more if the centre hadn't been closing......
It wasn't too bad - the first one was kinda an assessment and she (the counsellor) wanted to hear 'my story' - what had been going on with me and how i landed up there.
Cos it was only ten sessions we didn't cover a whole bunch of ground, but it was kinda up to me to 'bring' things to talk about, and we didn't only cover recent stuff, but went back to when i was a kid /teenager, how i deal with anger...stuff like that. I knew from the start that it would only be ten sessions, so in some senses it wasn't that deep - again that might be different in different areas (that you get more than eight or ten sessions i mean).

I think this varies depending on the counsellor, but i found the woman i had really hard to talk to. She wasn't horrible or anything - she was actually ok, but just didn't say anything much. There was no just no come back at all......
I'd say what had been going on or that something had been kinda tough, and all she would say was 'Sounds like that was quite tough for you'.... well, duh, that's what i just said.....
So that was a bit of a mare. That and her just sitting there saying nothing, waiting for me to speak at the start of each session........

What she did do though, was refer me on to the psychotherapy service, which is a whole other kettle of fish....

I guess it depends on various things - the person you have as the counsellor, the number of sessions you're given..... but as maxitab says, it's not generally as in depth as something like psychotherapy. It does tend to be a bit more 'gentle' than other types of therapy, which can be more intense and go deeper into issues.
Like maxi says it does tend to be more about current things, though there is nothing to stop you talking about the past and your experiences there if that's what you want.
The counsellor will want to know what's bothering you, and will ask you things like how you think that happened, how does it affect you now.... and will help you work through stuff and find ways of dealing / coping with things.
What they DON"T do (or shouldn't if they're any good) is give advice, or do the 'i think you should do XYZ' thing. That's not what they are there for.
They are there to help you discover what's going on by asking questions and getting you to explain things, helping you to understand why you might reacted the way you have to things, and hopefully help you to react differently in the future.
Last edited: