How Can Counselling Help?
Counselling is a time and a space that is just yours, where we meet regularly for an hour to talk about whatever is going on for you.
Counselling is a unique process and type of relationship. Unlike family or friends, I don't judge, or say you should do X or you shouldn't have done Y. I don't tell you what to do.
Instead I give you plenty of space to talk, and throughout that I ask helpful questions, in a way that allows us to understand what is going on. Emotions get a bad press for seeming to be irrational or illogical, but I'm a firm believer that if we can get to know them well enough, we can understand the logic underpinning the most baffling or frustrating emotions, thoughts and behaviours.
For example, we can understand an addictive behaviour by understanding and appreciating how it offers comfort in the short term, despite it being harmful in the long term. By noticing the need for comfort, we can then notice the fear that we need comfort or distraction from. By exploring that fear we're avoiding, we can reduce it. Sometimes this happens simply by hearing it back out loud. Other times it takes recognising that the situation we are afraid of is one we have already survived and overcome, which boosts our confidence and reduces fear. And sometimes just acknowledging and accepting that we are afraid, but that we are still okay, is enough to calm us. Then we feel less afraid, more in control and less in need of the addictive behaviour.
Until we understand why we feel, think, and do certain things, we can't change them, because they are there for a reason. Figuring out this reason is one of the many useful aspects of counselling.
Counselling is also a space where you can feel emotions safely. Sometimes in day to day life we don't feel we have the time, the tools or the strength to really feel all that we're going through. A good example of this is grief, where we don't feel everything at once because it would be too overwhelming. This is normal and okay, but over time our stress bucket can start to overflow if we don't take time to healthily release some of the emotions that have been stored up. This can be hard because often we feel afraid that if we start to let the feeling in, then it will consume us. Counselling is a way to avoid this overwhelm by releasing emotions a little bit at a time (tears are very welcome but never a requirement), with a confident guide by your side. Navigating emotions can be really challenging, and having someone next to you who doesn't fear or judge your emotions can make a huge difference.