“But how is talking about it going to help me?”
Oh, I’d be so rich if I had a pound for every time I’ve been asked how counselling helps, and actually it’s a fair question.
Why would you open yourself up to perhaps past memories of abuse that you’ve safely filed away in the part of your brain marked ‘don’t look here’ if you don’t have to?
Why would you sit in front of a total stranger airing feelings and thoughts that you’ve only ever kept to yourself?
How will talking about how sad you feel help you to be any less sad?
And if Katy Perry isn’t enough, here’s what comes out of the many research studies into the benefits of counselling and what I regularly hear from the clients who I’ve worked with:
- Unlocking and airing some of the ‘stuff’ that you’ve kept locked away is actually a huge relief
- Telling your story to another person, without judgement, reduces feelings of shame
- Being given space enables you to find new insights into your life and to find your own solutions to situations
- It helps you to understand yourself; your feelings, thoughts and behaviours better
- You’ll become more aware of the messages you’ve heard about yourself throughout your life (from family, friends, society, partners) and the influence these have had. Knowledge, in this regard, is definitely power. To reject them or value them!
- When a trusted other person (such as a counsellor) consistently and honestly values you for the person you are, you will be more able to value yourself.
Counselling helps by allowing you to talk about your feelings, needs and difficulties in a safe and confidential setting, and in talking about things with an impartial other person, you may come to see things from a different, fresh perspective.
It’s also something that’s entirely, solely, for you! Where else can you get to talk about the things that are bothering you, without having to worry about what that other person thinks or having to listen to them in return?
Counselling helped me by giving me a space away from all the usual things that keep me busy, and to just stop. To really reflect on what was going on in my life, how I was feeling and what things might be bubbling away under the surface that I was usually too distracted by to give any time or space to. Does that sound like something you could also benefit from?