What is Counselling?
Good, effective counselling is respectful, non-judgemental and confidential, and makes it possible to safely explore whatever is troubling you. Essentially it is about being carefully listened to, about being able to express out loud your thoughts and feelings rather than trying to understand or analyse them in your head alone. Being really well listened to can help you to listen to yourself a little differently and this often means that you can change how you view and deal with the problem you are facing.
People decide to seek counselling for many reasons. It may be that they are experiencing difficulties in their relationships or that they're handling far too much stress or anxiety in their lives. Sometimes people seek counselling because they are experiencing persistent low mood or a sense of being weighed down with negative feelings.
Some of the areas I might be able to help you with are:
Counselling is not a soft option...
A lot of people who haven't experienced counselling think that it's easy, a soft option. It isn't! It takes quite a lot of courage to admit to ourselves that we might need a bit of support or that we're going to have make some changes. It can be truly challenging to look at, explore and understand the issues which trouble us and to begin to make those changes. Facing our doubts and fears often feels risky at first, but it can help us to find new ways of thinking about things, to clarify our worries, to find our voice and to face the future with courage, resilience and hope.
Looking after yourself
It is quite possible that in the initial stages of counselling you may feel drained and fatigued after your sessions. You may feel quite emotional and even a little unsettled between sessions. This is perfectly normal but if this happens to you, you may find it helpful to make a note of the thoughts and feelings you experience and bring your notes to your next session.
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What others have said about coming to counselling
At first I couldn't see how talking would make any difference - but I was so wrong. Being able to tell you what was in my head and how I was feeling made all the difference... because you listened to me and I never once felt that you were judging me.
Thank you for helping me find the words to say the unsayable and speak the unspeakable.
I don't know where I would be now without your help. You helped me recognise that I have choices... that I don't have to live the way I was living.
When I think of the wreck I was when I first walked through your door, I marvel at the person I've become!
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The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore. Vincent Van Gogh, Netherlands born painter, 1853-1890