I don’t need counselling – do I?
Often counselling is seen as something that people go to when they need ‘fixing’, when something is wrong, or when they ‘can’t cope’. This can sometimes be seen as a sign of weakness or failure of some kind. No wonder you might may be reluctant to try it, especially if you think that you are going to be judged about it!
What are your perceptions about counselling? Do you think that you are going to be ‘analysed’? Or that the therapist is going to give you answers or tell you what to do? Do you see it as a sign that you are ‘less than’ in some way? Do you think that you need to have some kind of ‘condition’ like anxiety or depression before you can come along?
Or, do you ever think that coming along to see a counselling could be a positive step in looking after yourself? A way to help you get clarity about a dilemma, a different perspective on your life, or a space for you to work out your own answers to what’s bothering you? Something that can aid your wellbeing and sense of enjoyment in life?
Often, at the end of our work together clients say that it’s not been what they expected. That it been less ‘formal’ than they thought it was going to be, and that they appreciated a time and space where they could explore whatever was going on for them without being judged, or patronised or being told what they ‘should’ be doing. So, it’s not about lying on a couch, with the therapist taking notes and then giving you their ‘analysis’ of you!
So, what do people get out of coming for counselling?
Some people say that they feel more able to cope with the stress that they have in their life, that they feel calmer, less anxious, and have better sleep. Others find that they are better able to express themselves in their relationships, leading to better communication. Yet others are able to have a better work – life balance. Sometimes it leads to a better understanding of yourself, and that results in being kinder to yourself and to making more positive, healthy choices.
Of course, counselling’s not for everyone, but maybe there’s a lot of people who could benefit, but who think that perhaps it’s ‘not for them’ because they might not have a ‘specific problem’. Often though, we can hang onto things for years, things that we may feel ashamed or embarrassed about – the time that we stole a fiver from our Mum’s purse, or that we gossiped about our best friend, or we had an affair, or we got into debt, or that we’re drinking too much – and this can cause us a lot of distress that gets in the way of enjoying our life to the full. Therapists are just people too, and everyone has had experiences that sometimes they wished that they’d handled better – even therapists!
I believe that we all have the answers we need inside us, sometimes we just need a space, with a bit of feedback, to let us connect into ourselves to find what’s there. And sometimes it’s hard to find this in everyday life when we are so busy with work, families, or even at times when we feel lonely and alone, and don’t feel that’s there’s anyone to turn to.
So, what do you think? Is counselling something that might be a positive choice in your life?
About the Author: Maggi
Maggi lives in a rural location in Lanarkshire with her German Shepherd, Solas. She enjoys nature, reading, dog training and sometimes having a duvet day cuddled up on the couch with Solas, enjoying chocolate (not for Solas though!)