Mental Health

Counselling

Everyone pictures counselling by lying on a bed, crying into a pillow, rambling away to a therapist whilst they write notes on their notepad. Yeah?

Well… that’s not really how it goes like it does in the films. Yes probably alot of crying (don’t worry they have boxes of tissues), they do have a notepad but only usually to ask you questions at the beginning of the session and it’s usually one big sofa or comfy chair with lots of pillows and blankets around to make it feel cosy and you feel like you are in a safe comfortable environment!

Photo from – http://www.counsellingxtra.co.uk/

Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues. – NHS

Counselling can happen in many different forms

  • Over the phone
  • Face to face
  • In a group
  • Email/messenger
  • Skype
  • In your own home

There are so many options for you to explore and counselling is pretty much available to anyone, even if you can’t make it out of bed or face the outdoors. There are other ways counselling can be done and accessed.

There really is nothing to be ashamed of when you need to go and see a Counsellor. It covers a wide range and is for absolutely anything and anyone. There is:

  • Bereavment counselling
  • Relationship counselling
  • Mental health counselling
  • Upsetting physical health counselling – infertility
  • Work related counselling – stress
  • Sexual identity counselling.
  • Emotion counselling – low self esteem
  • Child counselling

Counsellors aren’t there to give advice or tell you what to do, or what is right nor wrong. They are simply there to just listen, and support you in a non-judgemental way and in a safe environment. They aren’t all that scary, just basically one big ear sat listening to you, that’s all.

The counsellor will introduce themselves, ask you a few mandatory questions (all therapist will have to ask you these, you can’t avoid them but it’s just about you and for also theirs and your safety). They will then ask you ‘how can they help’ or ‘how are you feeling?’ And just encourage you to talk and open up. Everything you say is strictly confidential, so you have to trust them. (They explain all about their confidentiality policy to you too at the very beginning so you have a better understanding of it and reassures you too). Easier said than done right?

I know so many people’s big fear and confrontation of opening up is terrifying. The thought of actually holding your hands up and digging deep inside to the root cause is a daunting experience.

I understand.

I went for counselling in school when I was 14 (I think, I was young anyways) and it was a scary experience. I hated it. I did not like the woman, she wasn’t the easiest of people to talk to or approachable at all. So I refused to go to see her again. A couple of years down the line, I went to the see a counsellor when I was 16 but this time was a doctor’s referral. Again, I didn’t really like her, not as bad as the first woman though. This woman just seemed to put ‘words into your mouth’ and just makes you feel uncomfortable talking about it. So I was more than happy for her to discharge me asap so I didn’t have to go back.

Anyways.. that wasn’t the final time; recently, when I was 21 so just over a year ago I went counselling again. This time, I saw a lovely woman. She was friendly, warming, approachable, was happy to just listen and let you explore what is bothering you instead of twisting it and ‘putting words into your mouth’. She was fabulous. I can’t fault her and if I had to go back counselling again then I wouldn’t hesitate.

My recent Counsellor explained to me properly about my mental health, she gave it a label. I was officially in a category and I now know what I am dealing with… GENERAL ANXIETY DISORDER. No one has ever told me that or gave me an explanation about it, it was a relief to hear it. Infact, it was nice to finally have a name for it.

She told me that when I go to counselling, I am basically carrying one big ruck sack on my back, it’s just getting full and full and then it breaks and I explode. It is like a big bubble. Everything inside my bubble is safe, I am in control of it; but when something new or the unknown comes along, that’s it my bubble is popped and the anxiety takes over. Anything can trigger it, nothing inparticular, anything can. I couldn’t explain my general anxiety disorder any better than the way she explained it to me.

My point is I know talking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there is someone out there who is right for you. No matter how many attempts it takes to find ‘the one’; that counsellor is out there waiting for you. Just like I experienced.

Don’t give up and throw the towel in after one counsellor you didn’t get on with, keep trying it won’t hurt you.

I believe in you,

Hugs A x

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