Counselling is not Advising and giving Advice is not Counselling!

During the initial years in my practice I often found myself struggling with the temptation to offer my clients with advice. I must confess, it wasn’t always easy to stop myself. Especially when I thought the client wasn’t going in the direction I was hoping they would.

Metaphorically speaking, if the therapeutic process is a moving car, I would be on the driver’s seat while the client on the passenger’s seat. Making sure that the car moves ahead and does not go off the road would be my job but it would be the client who will guide the car to its final destination.

Advising and counselling are two very different things. Giving advice is letting people know what you think is best for them, while counselling is allowing people to explore and decide what is best for them.

When in distress we often find ourselves surrounded by those who care for us. We cannot help but unwittingly ask them to help us resolve our issues or provide us with solutions. One of the main reasons for us to ask others for advice is because as human beings we rely heavily on other people’s opinions and we trust ourselves very little. People get caught in the cycle of asking for advice and depending on others, and when things fail, escaping the responsibility. Counselling is an opportunity for you to re-establish that trust in yourself and follow your own path forward.

Madhura Marathe

I am a professional counsellor based in Berlin offering counselling in English. I provide advice, support and guidance to clients undergoing stress, trauma, anxiety and relationship issues.