I see such conflicted views from people seeking help. Some people seem to feel they don’t really have a problem but they are just checking things out (this usually means there is a problem but they aren’t ready to acknowledge it as such), others know they have a problem but don’t think it is bad enough to warrant much attention.
Other people know there is a lot going on, but for one reason or another they are just not ready to commit the time it takes to work on it and others seem to believe it can all be solved in just one session.
All of these experience show how confusing it can be be when people do reach out for counselling, the article below explores more about those I never hear from.
The bottom line is there is still a lot of misunderstanding about what counselling is and what it can achieve.
It is hard work. It can at times be very upsetting and mean revisiting painful emotions and experiences in our life. By doing that we can view them from a different perspective with an impartial person accompanying the journey.
This process can take a short time or a long time, it depends on so many factors.
But if there is something going on for you that you are not happy with, then what is holding you back from trying to change it?
There is a lot of work being done recently to promote mental health support – but there is still a long way to go. Check out this article for more details.
This podcast from the BBC last year details some of the pressures young people are having when trying to get a degree and the reasons they drop out.
I was encouraged that those who were experiencing mental health issues and were able to engage with the university counselling services did find them useful. Sadly it is disappointing that accessing that wasn’t always easy. Waiting lists or not even know it was available delayed their treatment.
I wish everyone starting their university career this month all the very best and if you need support that you can access it.
This is a really interesting article on the history of some different forms of therapy and how CBT has become most common.
My modality, the person centred approached is part of the humanistic type of therapy and isn’t really mentions much. However, I think its worth noting that it sits between the psychodynamic and cognitive approaches being discussed.
I absolutely believe that all three approaches have there place, just as the therapist will be drawn to one type, so to will be the client if they have a choice. When I first explored training, the person centred approach resonated with me and that is why I chose a course based on this approach.
I urge everyone who is looking to find a counsellor to do some independent reading on the types of therapy available.
Anything that encourages recognition and support of mental health issues is a good thing.
Its good to see this initiative.
I don’t know if you have seen this story, about a man being abused on social media because his car is considered an eyesore.
It brought up all sorts of emotions for me when I read the original story and even more when I saw the support he has received.
Tourists complained that his bright yellow car which he parked outside his own home ruined the view of the picturesque village he lives in. It was then vandalised.
I was furious when I first heard about that, I realise now its not just because of this story but what it represents. All too often, clients end up in distress because they have been told repeatedly by others how they should be or what they should do. Other people believing they have a right to dictate what a life and personality should be. The unasked for and unwelcome judgement of others can lead to verbal mocking and vandalism as in this case but also violence and mental health issues.
But this story also brought me hope. The fact that a rally has been held in support of the little yellow car with lots of other yellow cars lightened up my day.
The celebration of being outside the ‘norm’ and the support given to someone being victimised for it also reminded me of other stories and experiences.
We may be a little yellow car and it may cause problems because of some people, but someone else out there will get it. We just need to find them and hold onto ourselves so we can find a way to celebrate our yellowness.
I have discovered a singer on YouTube with a few really interesting songs.
A couple of songs on bullying:
and one on suicide prevention:
I listened to a wonderful podcast about a woman who worked to bring academics to the UK from Europe during the Nazi period. I was really amused by the interview with her where she was prickly when asked about her background. It was quite clear her view was “why does my background matter, judge me by what I do”.
I couldn’t help but compare it to the situation today, with refuges being stigmatised at home and abroad.
I was also struck with the similarity to Sara Rowbotham who I mentioned in my last blog post, both women working tirelessly for what they believe to be the right thing no matter what odds they are dealing with.
A lot has been written about Sara Rowbotham, the sexual health worker who worked to expose the issues of child sexual exploitation in Rochdale. After the BBC drama 3 Girls based on the case its highlighted how hard it can be to fight for what you believe is right.
Sometimes though bravery is made up of the smaller things. Depending on where our mental health is, just getting up in the morning or leaving the house can be an act of bravery. They may not be noticed by others, or have such an impact on society but for us as individuals they may be invaluable.
Another form of bravery is seeking help when needed. I try to always remember that for clients approaching me, this can be an extremely difficult thing to do. Not only is there the recognition that another person may be needed to help with things, its reaching out to a stranger without any idea of how that will be received.