What is the point – how can talking make me feel better?
This is a question that is often asked, and sometimes prevents people from giving some counselling a chance.
Talking is important – being able to tell your story, slowly and in detail, especially when it is heard and properly understood, can often be a crucial first step.
But counselling is also much more than just talking. At its best, it provides a rare environment, in which the therapist’s presence, and careful listening and acceptance, begin to help us find a more secure sense of ourselves. More than that, counselling can give you an opportunity to examine how you feel in a new way and to sense freshly into your emotions. Sometimes, something very new and subtle can emerge, that hadn’t been clear before, and is often surprising: this may be all it takes for changes to start happening.
For me, one of the most extraordinary things that can come from counselling is the realisation that everything you could possibly feel is OK. More than that, everything that comes up, the good, the painful and the downright ugly, is likely to be positively useful when you start to look at it in an accepting way. So, there is no right or wrong, and in counselling there is no ‘should’. You can feel and express it exactly how it is – or say nothing at all, and just watch it all unfold for a while. It’s all up to you and it’s all OK!