In this blog post, I’d like to do my part in making the incredibly positive benefits of counselling known. I’d like to help dismantle the fear and the shame around getting help.
In this post, I hope to reassure you that it’s completely normal and part of the human experience to encounter emotional challenge. It’s normal to not know what to do sometimes, it’s normal to not know how to cope and to seek advice. Life is a wave that we will forever ride and being happy all the time is a very unrealistic expectation to have. Being happy 24/7 is an impossible pressure to put on yourself. I think it’s really important to try to shift our mindset towards the challenging sections of our life. Times that feel difficult to navigate, as shitty as they may feel, also provide an incredible opportunity to learn more about yourself, to grow and to evolve.
It’s so important to prioritise building a healthy relationship with our own mind. To be able to understand our mind and to be able to clear off our mind when we need to (meditation) is the most powerful ally we will have in this life. You can find all my wellbeing guides here.
We so quickly assume that seeking support in the form of counselling is a sign of struggle and a weakness to be ashamed of. I feel counselling is actually quite the opposite and shows incredible amounts of strength.
I think going to see a counsellor is a huge sign of courage and shows an incredible willingness to reflect on your self in a very ‘naked’ way. How amazing is it that you’re curious about your own mind and you want to get to know your own conditioning? How brave is it that you would like to understand the way you interact with people and that you want to work through whatever belief systems you hold within you. Digging into our conditioning, inner work, original pain work and day to day thought structures is life-changing work. Patterns can be broken down, understood and cleared. When we truly get to the root of our emotions, actions and thoughts, we can get intimate with the fear that lies beneath them and we can create sustainable change.
Counselling is not a ‘bad thing’ or something to be embarrassed about. You can choose to see a counsellor without being ‘ill’ or being on anti-depressants or without being forced to go. Counselling is a serious privilege and if I could justify the money every week – I would go regardless of whether I would consider that period of my life particularly difficult or not.
I have zero embarrassments in sharing that I have been to counselling. I’ve invested in counselling during three periods in my life that I found hard to navigate through alone. Counselling gave me both space and perspective to work through these periods, to acknowledge them and also assisted me in developing the tools to overcome them. I spent most of 2018 seeing a counsellor weekly in London to navigate through the transitional period I found myself in. Read some more about that here.
As I update this post in January 2021, I am two months into working with an Energy Psychotherapist where our sessions combine talking therapy with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique/tapping) to navigate trauma and energetic blockages.
So I just want you to know, there is no one in this world that doesn’t have bad days and you are never alone, even if you feel it.
Please, reach out and talk about it.
How much does counselling cost?
Private counselling sessions can indeed be expensive, hence why I don’t go every week. You can pay anything from £40-£200 for a session depending on where you go and the experience your counsellor has. Fear not though, there are many places that offer counselling for free and a lot of counsellors offer low income and student rates.
Finding a counsellor
If you’re in the UK, pop your address into The Counselling Directory and search your local area.
11 reasons I love counselling and would highly recommend it…
1. You get to sit and talk about you and your life to someone who’s actually listening…
There aren’t many situations in which you can talk about yourself and your worries for a solid hour and not feel selfish about it. Everyone has their own problems right? Sometimes it can feel difficult putting your thoughts onto your friends and family but with a counsellor that is exactly what they are there for. They want to hear what you have to say, what you feel, what you’re scared about and what’s upset you. In fact, the more you say the better.
2. You just don’t have to feel bad about it…
You’re paying them to listen – moan away! This is a space where you can show up with no guilt. The more honest you show up the better.
3. You don’t have to feel embarrassed about anything…
Your counsellor is someone that is not going to judge you at all. You can say what you want without getting scared of a reaction. You don’t have to hold back and nothing you say leaves the room. It’s a safe place. This freedom opens you up to work through difficult feelings that maybe you haven’t previously acknowledged.
4. It’s time to become your own best friend…
Saying things out loud that you’ve perhaps never shared or spoken about allows you to really listen and understand where you’re at. If you don’t really know how you feel, how do you know what you need? You get the chance to get to know yourself better than ever before.
See my 12 self-care habits to increase your happiness here.
5. If you want to cry it out, you can do exactly that…
Honestly, it’s your choice how you use your session. Even if counselling simply encourages you to just let it all out, you’ll feel an overwhelming sense of relief afterwards.
6. You gain new perspectives that you hadn’t previously considered…
I honestly have so many lightbulb moments in counselling. I mean, I generally feel like I’m quite experienced at working through my emotions. But, there are certainly times where I’m like, ‘Why on earth do I feel like this? I don’t get it and I don’t know what the solution is.’ Sitting and talking to my counsellor has drawn so many lines between the dots in my life and has really made me notice reoccurring ‘issues’ that I had never linked together. The simple realisation of some behavioural patterns has honestly been game changing. Once you know what you’re dealing with, it’s so much easier to resolve.
7. You learn how to navigate your way through difficult times
Talking to a counsellor can bring clarity to the cloudiest of times. It’s incredible what happens and what you are capable of when you nourish yourself in a safe and secure environment.
8. You are able to make more informed decisions…
Through counselling, you are exercising your brain like a muscle, just like people go to the gym to build strength in their physical appearance, spend time building strength in your mind. The stronger you are mentally, the better you will be able to make decisions and feel confident in doing so.
9. You get some reflection time…
Life can be busy and particularly with a career in social media (which never switches off) it can be hard to switch off. You’ll feel like a complete idiot getting your phone out and scrolling your Instagram feed in a counselling session. Too right!!! We need to be spending more time just with ourselves and counselling forces you to do this wonderful thing.
10. You learn how to rely on yourself…
Counsellors aren’t there to sit and tell you what to do (unfortunately) but they are there to support you whilst you figure it out and will suggest new coping mechanisms to guide you. Through doing so you take your life into your own hands and you grow confident in your own ability to manage yourself.
11. Invest in your future…
I see counselling as the biggest investment in your future and in aiding the most sustainable state of mental health. I will always prioritise the time and money to look after my mind. Your brain is a complex and delicate organ, it’s with you for life so it’s time to get it on side.
Life becomes so much easier.
What are your thoughts on counselling?
How do you look after your mental health? I’d love to know!
Love as always + happy adventuring,
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I can’t do this without you.
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