Counselling is where specific time is set aside between the practitioner and the client to explore difficulties the client is experiencing.
Counselling is a very delicate area and there are boundaries that a counsellor needs to work within. These include not giving advice, being judgemental, attempting to sort out the problems of their clients, not getting emotionally involved with the client, or encouraging the client to behave in a certain way.
You can expect an environment that is judgement free, confidential (aside from legal obligations), one where you can explore your desired outcomes and how you can achieve those goals. Your counsellor may offer different points of view to assist your out look and help you see things from a different perspective.
Counsellors should be professionally trained to ensure they understand where their boundaries are and how they can best serve you.
Major issues, such as abuse, may see you referred to someone more qualified to assist you.