Does the thought of counselling bring up your fears?
Does it? Do you start thinking, what's it going to be like, how on earth can I explain it all, and not cry or get upset? or what's it going to be like talking to a stranger? What if I don't feel like saying anything? What if I don't feel comfortable? or What if I get a panic attack? What do I have to do? How does it work? How will I be able to afford it?
There are so many fears that come into our heads and none of us are alone in this, but what are fears? they are the unknown. With that in mind, I'm attempting here, to answer some of the questions, that may stop you from making the first appointment! So you may know, a little, of what to expect. Hopefully this post address's some of those fears, but, if I don't mention one of the ones you have, then please comment and I will elaborate on that one.
How can you explain all the problems without getting upset?
The answer is, you probably will get upset, but, and the big but is, that maybe you need to express yourself by crying and letting it out. It's okay, that is part of the healing sometimes, like a pressure cooker letting off steam.
Maybe the next question is, What! cry in front of a stranger?
Remember that counselling is a completely, non-judgemental space, yes it may make you vulnerable, but that is where, the most learning is achieved. Talking it out to someone who is neutral, is so valuable because, we don't know each other personally, I cannot, counsel good friends because I wouldn't be able to be, non-judgemental. I did comment before, that you cannot connect via private message, but, I'm finding now it's a brilliant way of working.
What if I don't feel comfortable?
Well, that's why I do a FREE assessment over the phone, or Skype, to assess your situation and...
a) whether I feel able to help you with your issue, but also
b) To make sure, we both feel comfortable talking to each other. Cos you never know, til you talk to someone, whether you can connect with them or not? I do, understand about this, which is why, if you felt 'oh no I don't gel with this person', assessments are completely without obligation. As a counsellor I know we all have, 'our own people' that we feel comfortable with.
But then, a big part of my training is to create a comfortable 'space' for you to feel as 'relaxed' in the situation as possible! I do this by creating 'your' space, being focused on you 100%, using my training to help you realise blocks, or the way forward for you (there is always a way). Obviously, my training covers a lot more than this, It's about using my learnt 'tools' to bring out your perfect solutions for your life challenges.
How does it work?
Well, I've said a little about the 'space' in the previous answer. There are different models of counselling. I use mainly Person Centred Counselling, why do I love it? because it's so very gentle, and a master of counselling I believe, because it brings out your own answers within you, like brainstorming, but better than that, it works completely on what, and how you are, 'in the moment'.
It's founder Carl Rogers, imagined in the future, that schools would utilise counsellors to bring out the child's brilliance within. It's making the 'child' the centre rather than the teacher, who is teaching the same syllabus they've always taught. It gives a chance for us to evolve as human beings. In this way, PCC can be utilised for absolutely any subject? This, to me, the significance of it, is so, so, exciting, and why, it also works brilliantly as mentoring too. PCC also works well with dream therapy too. The thing I love about PCC is it teaches the way, of solving your future problems too.
So PCC is my absolute favourite model, but, if need be, if it's beneficial for the client, I will use more directional models such as Cognitive Behavourial Therapy or CBT and Psychodynamic.
What is CBT? I find it can be harsher, It's more directional, utilising suggestions, ideas, exercises usually on paper or drawing, stones, buttons etc. Which can work well too, and I do use it when I feel it is needed for that particular client.
Psychodynamic is useful in making links with childhood, re-occurring ones throughout life, which I find quite fascinating, again, when required I will utilise this one too.
What if I feel I don't want to say anything?
That is completely okay. Is it wasting the session? Absolutely not, maybe you need the space to collect your thoughts? The session is 'your time' to be, talk, be quiet, to think, to express and it can put you on the right track. First sessions are usually either quiet, emotional or a torrent of talking of the clients whole life! But, there is no expectation and no norm. It is centred around you.
What do you have to do?
Just be yourself.
What happens if I get a panic attack?
We would have already gone through any medical issues or experiences in the assessment, so I'd know if that was an issue. We would have already talked about how to deal with this, before the session. I probably would suggest some grounding, and breathing to calm you. I am a Hypnotherapist too, so I do understand anxiety issues, and what to do to alleviate them. Of course I would have your doctors details and emergency number too if required.
How will I be able to afford it?
As counsellors, we are fully aware of the lack of funding, out there for therapy, especially in the UK. Organisations for particular issues, usually provide free counselling as do some clinics, in both cases, go and see your doctor to be referred. Unfortunately, these options usually have lengthy waiting lists, because they are greatly needed, don't even get me started!
So yes, I do keep a few appointments reserved with concessionary prices. If you find even that concessionary price difficult, then please do discuss price with me. Your 'investment' in yourself, if it's a stretch, is also a declaration, you're investing in yourself, sometimes, you'll psychologically put more weight behind it working for you.
As I said before, if you have any further questions then please do ask in the comments below or you can always email me at: sally