So this is my first blog. Not something I thought I would be doing, but it appears I am dragging myself kicking and screaming into the technological age. After spending some time deliberating about the topic of my first ever blog, I came to the conclusion that I need to start from the beginning and explain what I see as the benefits of counselling.
One of the requirements of my counselling degree course was to sign up to a prescribed number of personal counselling sessions, to which I felt slightly uncomfortable about. I didn’t feel that I had any major issues to talk about at the time and as a student, I cringed at the thought of pouring out my innermost feelings with a fully trained counsellor simply because I was required to do it.
On arrival at my first session, I confidently shared these sentiments with my counsellor, perhaps secretly hoping she would agree with my naivety and send me on my way with a note to my lecturer telling her that I was a calm, untroubled specimen who required no counselling at all. This was not the case – within twenty minutes of the session, I was in tears!
This experience brought home the reality that we all have stuff buried within us that we could benefit from talking about and making sense of. It seems that we push many of our unwanted thoughts and feelings to the back of our minds so that we don’t have to acknowledge or explore them.
Counselling offers the opportunity to open up to someone who remains impartial, non-judgemental and empathic to our situation in an environment that is safe and confidential. This allows the flow of previously unwanted thoughts and feelings, many that have been stored away in our subconscious mind, to be released into the moment and explored without fear of criticism or reprisal.
It is during these times that as clients, we can truly make sense of our world without being concerned with the values, opinions and criticisms of the people who we share our lives with. We can explore what really suits our inner selves and what doesn’t. Over time, counselling can help us identify the traits, opinions and behaviours that we adopt wholly to please the people around us. Increased self-awareness allows us to see that we all have choices about how we live our lives which thus opening up opportunities that we may have previously been too afraid to explore.
If all of this seems a little bit too deep, counselling can in the very least offer the client the opportunity to offload all of the clutter that clogs up the mind. The nagging thoughts that drain us of our energy and positivity and which circle round and round, never drawing to a satisfying conclusion.
Whilst we may talk to friends and family about our problems, there are often distractions and unspoken personal agendas that come into play that detract from the need for an unbiased empathic ear.
A counsellor will walk in the client’s shoes and see the world only from their eyes, thus enabling the client to reframe their experiences and move towards a more rewarding situation.