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What can counselling do for you?

Counselling is still misunderstood by many and is often seen as an indulgence or just somewhere that people come to moan about their lives. It is also seen as only necessary when someone is in crisis and they feel their lives are falling apart.

Counselling is so much more than this, and I would like to give you an idea of how it can help.

The most important part of counselling is making sure you are seeing the right person. This does not depend on what kind of counselling they offer, or where they trained, or who their professional body is. The vital part here is that they are someone you feel you can talk openly to. The therapist is there to help you uncover the root of your difficulties, and to offer support in you finding good solutions. If there is any reason why you do not feel able to tell them all those thoughts you can’t say elsewhere, or you do not trust that they can hear you with compassion and without judgment, then they are not the right person for you.

Often just having the space to talk freely, with no agenda, and with somebody who is not personally connected or affected by your story, is hugely powerful. There is no need to censor yourself or to worry about how your words are going to impact the person sitting in front of you. It is very common, too common I would say, that people don’t let their thoughts, feelings, and needs be heard. They keep quiet so as not to be a bother, to not appear vulnerable, or because they have always been shut down.

When you feel able to talk about anything, you are freed from a lot of limitations, and you can begin your journey of understanding and healing. 

A therapist is there to support you in making sense of things, to help you see repeated behaviours which hurt you. To offer you perspectives which can help to take some of the pain out of past experiences, and to show you where you can make changes to avoid doing the same thing over and over.

Here you can look at the relationships in your life, past and present, and at areas that have hurt you, have conditioned you to behave a certain way, unrealistic beliefs of yourself which often begin in how others treat you, and for you to begin to see that you deserved better. You can learn to strengthen your healthy relationships, can set boundaries in some of the difficult ones, and can even help you to see which relationships would be better for you to walk away from.

Often individuals come to counselling because they do not really know who they are, or what they need. There is a feeling of wrongness, or sadness that can’t be attached to anything. Within this, there is often a thread which stretches far back and started so long ago that support is needed to discover where it started. If you have spent your life pleasing others, being what they wanted, or giving in to demands or expectations of others, you can lose your sense of self and no longer remember what is important to you. In this safe, cherished space you can start to peel back the layers to find who you really are.

Once you have created a good working relationship with your therapist, you may be challenged on some of your core beliefs, or how you view situations. It is normal to have gotten so used to acting a certain way, that you forget that it does not suit you and might actually do you harm. A trusted therapist can help bring this into your awareness so you can start to develop new beliefs and to start living your life your way.

You do not need to have a specific issue to address, or even have a clear idea of what you would like support with. The therapy space is where you can start to make important discoveries and work out what is pushing you in certain directions. A therapist can support you to unpick and analyse situations and experiences, and see if there is a common thread to explore.

Many adult difficulties started in childhood, and can be part of a coping strategy developed as a child in order to deal with situations and people we grow up with.
This does not only apply to traumatic childhoods, as unhealthy beliefs can be created in any environment. Part of the work could be looking at certain behaviours as an adult, and making sense of where and how this started as a child. In this, you can start to unravel those silent, childhood beliefs and look at whether they fit into your adult life. By understanding why you believe something, you can start to change the way you view things.

It might be that you only want or need a few sessions to find coping strategies, or how to look at things differently. This can be helpful if there is a specific issue you want to deal with.

A common misconception is that every session will be painful and that you are expected to cry, or be angry, or that you always have to have some imminent problem that needs solving. This is not the case at all. The therapy space can be somewhere that you celebrate things too. You can celebrate all your wins, take a
moment to look back to see how far you’ve come, to spend time looking at what makes you happy. Laughter has just as much right, and importance, in the therapy room, and can be a crucial part of your growth, healing and winning. 

As always, if you have any questions, or just want to see if therapy could be the right move for you, please do get in touch. I am here to support you to be the best version of you that you can be. You can also find out more about my counselling services here

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