In this blog post, I’d like to do my part in spreading the incredibly positive benefits of counselling.
I want to reassure you that it’s completely normal and part of the human experience to encounter emotional difficulty. It’s normal to not know what to do sometimes. Life is a wave that we will forever ride and being happy all the time is a very unrealistic expectation to have. Being happy is an impossible pressure to put on yourself. I think it’s really important to try to shift our mindset towards difficult times. Difficult times, as shitty as they may feel, also provide an incredible opportunity to learn more about yourself, to grow and to evolve.
Truth is, we all have ‘mental health’ and it’s so important to prioritise building healthy relationships with our mind, to be able to understand our mind and to be able to switch off our mind when we need to (meditation).
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 you hold within you, to make the world a nicer place to be.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re in the UK, pop your address into The Counselling Directory and search your local area.
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.
You’re paying them to listen – moan away! 😉
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 doing so.
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.
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.
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.
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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