The word counseling can mean different things. Attorneys provide counsel or legal advice to their clients. Financial counselors offer monetary advice. Clinical counselors however don’t generally give a lot of advice. Their “currency” if you will is emotions, but they don’t and can’t tell you what to feel.
What Counseling Does
What counseling can do however is help people better understand and cope with their emotions, especially the more difficult ones. Counseling or Therapy (these are interchangeable) can aid people in finding the source of their emotions when this seems elusive. It can also provide a sanctuary of sorts in which to explore issues; and provide resources and tools to better cope with emotions, relationships, life events and other issues.
Some commonly explored issues in therapy are: family of origin, life stages and changes (transition to adulthood, emerging adulthood, middle age crisis, empty nest, etc), coping with challenges such as infertility, miscarriage, or illness, parenting, adoption, and attachment. Finding healthy ways to manage anxiety and depression is another concern that often brings people to therapy.