Question Marks to describe how a client might wonder whether they need counselling or not

Do I need a counsellor?

In her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou writes,

‘’There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”.

Maya’s quote resonates because it demonstrates how hard it can be to hold on to your emotions or stories.  Speaking to someone who is there only to listen to you and your feelings, to listen without judgement, is the core benefit of coming to see a counsellor.

When should I see a counsellor?

Contrary to popular opinion you don’t need to be at crisis point to come and see a counsellor.

Whilst counselling can address crisis situations, it can also be a part of your own wellbeing process. We visit a doctor when we feel unwell, or the dentist when our tooth hurts. We go to a gym or a yoga class to support our physical fitness. So, what about our emotional and mental wellbeing? Investing in time for you and seeing a counsellor on a regular basis can bring many benefits.

Whilst I believe you should explore counselling at any time in your life, here are some signs or reasons that might make you think about coming to see a therapist:

  • Your emotions are overtaking everything – you might be feeling sad or anxious, your relationships are impacted by your own moods. You may feel more stressed or angry than normal
  • Grief – you have experienced a loss of a person or a pet – or a living loss of a friendship changing, moving house, losing your job – dealing with change
  • Struggling with relationships – are you noticing communication breakdowns with partners, family members? Is parenting becoming more and more difficult? Are you experiencing intimacy issues?
  • Loss of motivation – are you disconnecting with your hobbies or people around you? Are you struggling to find meaning in life or not sleeping well? Do you find social situations difficult?
  • To have a better relationship with yourself – do you like yourself? Do you have a strong inner critic? Suffer from low self confidence? Are you able to be assertive and ask for your needs to be met? 
  • Trauma – have you experienced historical trauma and abuse or a one off event that is impacting your way of life?

How often should a I see a counsellor?

Seeing a counsellor is about having a dedicated time each week or fortnight to talk about whatever you want. By making it a regular commitment, it can encourage change and the benefits.  A bit like going to the gym, the more you go the more you will see the results. Some clients have likened coming to their counselling sessions like going to the gym, it can be hard to get there, but you know you feel better after you have been.

What’s different about talking with a counsellor?

It’s a chance to speak your truth in a confidential space, to a trained professional, who is there to support your needs. Unlike talking to a good friend or family member, your counsellor is independent from your day-to-day life and not personally involved. They are not there to give advice or opinion, but to enable you to put your emotions and feelings into words, to explore and question your situation.

There are different ways to experience therapy. For example, I offer sessions online, or Walk and Talk, as well as face to face. You can read more about the online and walk and talk approaches here Blog

What happens when you regularly attend counselling?

Starting to feel any change or heightened awareness may take time. You might feel vulnerable, or stronger, a range of emotions.  The small steps can lead to an enriching personal development experience. You may have a calmer, more peaceful state of mind, leading to acceptance of what may have happened or the way life is. As you spend time in counselling you will  develop awareness of yourself and your patterns of relating with others. This can improve your own decision-making process and influence the direction you want your life to go in through the choices you make.

Finding the right counsellor for you may take a little research, but once you have discovered the right person that you can trust (this can take time) it will bring a new focus to your life. You will feel validated (because you have been heard), having had the space to really feel. Your personal growth may include learning new strategies and coping mechanisms and you can experience improved emotional resilience to help you manage life better. Your new awareness will give you the ability to observe your situation differently and make decisions that benefit you rather than others.

Thanks @lizandmollie for the artwork

Ready to explore counselling?

I am an integrative counsellor and drawn on different theories to support my clients (person centered, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), TA (Transactional Analysis) and SST (Single Session Therapy) see Welcome  for more info.  This means each session is tailored exactly to your needs. 

If you want to find out more feel free to get in contact and find out more through the free 30 minute consultation.  If I am not the right counsellor for you, I will be happy to refer you on through my network to ensure you find the right therapist for you.