Do I need counselling?

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counselling and psychotherapy in London

When I was younger, I recall that the idea of anyone getting counselling or psychotherapy meant that there was something wrong with the person.  Like seriously wrong.  There was some stigma attached to getting counselling because the implication was that the person was somehow faulty or broken.  It wasn’t viewed like other kinds of healing, which were viewed as ways of getting over some kind of temporary illness or helping to get back to full health. Emotional or mental issues like anxiety or depression were somehow viewed as untreatable or something to be ashamed of.  You would never have stigmatised someone who had chicken pox because you knew that the person would get well again and the illness would pass.

Over the years, so many myths and misconceptions have been cleared up around the whole area of mental and emotional health and wellness, and this is a good thing. Now, most of us realise that going to counselling or psychotherapy means that a person is getting some help to deal with difficulties in life, and now there is much less stigma attached to mental health issues.

What can counselling help with?

Sometimes, life throws up challenges that just seem to stretch us beyond our capabilities.  We struggle to deal with things, we just have too much on our plates, things which would normally be manageable seem like “nightmares”. Sometimes, we become aware of certain patterns that we keep repeating and which don’t serve us well.  Sometimes, our relationships, whether that’s with friends, at home or at work, push our buttons and we feel sad, angry or lonely because of them.  Sometimes, life’s everyday demands just pile up and we find ourselves feeling worry and anxiety about things which we never used to.  Sometimes, our daily lives feel meaningless, sometimes we feel hopeless, sometimes we just don’t feel good and this in itself can worry us.

These are the things that counselling and psychotherapy can help with.

What can a counsellor do for me?

Sometimes, we just need that trusted confidante with whom we can express ourselves honestly, without the other person taking it personally. With whom we really just be our true selves and have them just listen.  Just listen.  The trusted and consistent person who can just be with us while we say out loud, the real questions that are on our mind.  While we explore some answers to those questions without being judged or criticised or given advice that doesn’t really take account of what we want in life.

These are the things that counselling and psychotherapy can help with.

So, in my life, in answer to the question, “Do I need psychotherapy?” I have sometimes answered yes.  Because sometimes I really needed that person I described above…to be with me while I was finding some of the stuff I described above really challenging.  And it passed.  And I felt better.  And none of us is made perfect.  And none of us is ever born with everything we need to get through life, we sometimes just need a little help from others. To gain perspective, to be heard, to get clarity, to get through things.

And that “companioning” I describe…. this is the thing I do.

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