Do I need counselling?
Updated: Aug 19, 2019
People often look at the idea of counselling when they are experiencing a particularly difficult time in their lives. For example, I often get referrals for clients who are experiencing bereavement or another loss such as divorce or redundancy. Counselling is not just there for the big events in life, it can help when people are feeling burdened by their current life experience. They may be experiencing feelings of anxiety or low mood and not be able to put a finger on why they feel this way. They may just have a feeling of being ‘stuck’. This is where counselling can be extremely helpful.
But why talk to a Counsellor instead of a friend, family member or colleague? Those close to us may be very sympathetic, caring and concerned for our wellbeing. However the very fact that they are too close to the issue can cloud their judgment. They aren’t objective or neutral. Their views, needs or opinions are going to affect the conversation, even if they are not aware of it.
Counsellors are trained to listen to and understand their clients without bias. Counsellors encourage their clients in independent thinking and self-reflection whilst highlighting any blind spots.
There are many things that we might disclose in therapy that we may be uncomfortable sharing with a friend. It is also much easier to share our deepest darkest secrets when there is a signed confidentiality agreement! This means that we are more likely to look at our experience with honesty when we know we can talk in a safe confidential space.
In the session you have the full, undivided attention of the Counsellor. It is a safe, confidential environment with no interruptions. The Counsellor’s job is to develop a working relationship that allows you to feel able to talk about possibly very raw emotions. You will set the agenda; you will decide what is going to be discussed in the session. You are in charge.
Counselling is a chance to stop in a world that rarely lets us stop. A chance to sort out what is going on in your own head. Time to process your reactions to life events and other people. A chance for you to look after your own mental wellbeing. You can turn off all your filters and tell it like it really is. Counselling is not a ‘fix all’ or rapid cure, but it can have a significant, positive impact on your life.
Clients have often been managing the unmanageable for a long time before they contact professionals for help. They have often tried many different and sometimes harmful coping mechanisms. It takes a great deal of courage to walk through the door of the counselling room. Part of my initial training and my ongoing professional development involves me having personal therapy. I can fully appreciate what it is like to approach a Counsellor for the first time.
Sometimes it can seem like Counsellors have their own lives all worked out and some of them might even believe it themselves, but this is definitely a myth! I will be looking at more Counselling myths in my next post.
I hope that this post has given you some insight into the value of counselling.
I am happy to take phone-calls and emails for further enquires, or for an informal chat about what counselling can offer you. Please do contact me and if you leave a message I will get back to you as quickly as I can.