Having counselling is potentially one of the bravest and most important things you will ever do in your life…
However going to counselling can be seen by others as a sign weakness, a sign of failure…you should be able to work this out on your own! I would like to encourage you, it really is OK to ask for support, to say I could do with some help making sense of what is happening to, or for me at the moment.
If you are reading this blog you are probably already considering counselling, already deciding whether you need some support with a life issue you are facing. It might be that you are experiencing emotions and thoughts that are scaring you and are not sure what to do next. You might have already made the decision to starting counselling and are looking to find the right counsellor for you.
In counselling you will be entering a unique relationship, a relationship where the other person involved (your counsellor) is there for your benefit, there to create a place for you to grow. The counselling relationship will be one where you will be invited to bring yourself, your fears, your hopes, your sadness, your confusion, and your pain. You will be taking an important step toward making sense of your experiences and exploring ways in which you can begin to move forward.
You will also be setting off into the unknown, a little like setting off into a wilderness where the route will not always be clear. Just as yo prepare for a walk in a wilderness it is important to prepare yourself for your counselling journey. Some possible questions you could ask yourself as you consider counselling are:
What is my starting place? (For example: I feel like… I keep feeling…I always end up in the same situations… I wake up thinking or feeling… )
How would I like to feel in a few months time after my counselling has finished?
What do I want to get from the counselling?
Is there someone else I could let know about the changes I want to make? (A friend, Partner, Sibling, Work Colleague) Sometimes it can useful to let someone else know that you have made this commitment, someone who can check in with you to see how it is working out for you.
Is there a particular time or day that would suit me best to explore my emotions.? (Coming out of a counselling session and going straight back into a busy/stressful situation can sometimes be difficult.)
These questions can be a helpful start, a way of setting your direction, a way of starting to take care of yourself in a different way, a way of beginning to name the changes you want to make.
Just as with a walk in the wilderness you will probably see and find things you did not expect, you will notice that as you explore things start to look different, that you are wiser than you thought and that you already know what you need to do.
Good luck on the journey.