Our lovely and wise psychodynamic counsellor, Rea explains how counselling can help our emotional health and why it isn’t just for people who have a ‘problem’. We can all benefit from help to make life that bit easier.
So what is Counselling?
Psychodynamic counselling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to speak about their problems or difficulties in a safe and secure environment with a qualified person.
I trained in this type of counselling because it embraced and dealt with a few areas of the human condition that particularly interested me.
Some people may think that counselling is about the therapist giving advice. This is not the case at all. They may help you to find out about your deeper feelings and manage your daily living in a more satisfactory and contented way, but advice is not part of my role as a counsellor. Guiding and assisting clients through difficulties and problems that are holding them back in daily life is a more accurate description of what I offer, rather than giving advice.
At the very start of my training one of my lecturers used the phrase “How do I know how I feel until I say it?”. I felt that was a very powerful sentence as many of us hide our feelings from even our nearest and dearest, for fear of judgement or criticism. When in therapy there should be no such fear of judgement. It should feel safe, secure, empathic and open. In other words, ‘it’s good to talk’!
Counselling is an opportunity to talk confidentially about anything that is worrying you so that you can work towards a more satisfying and resourceful way of life. Among other things it can help you to clarify your thoughts and feelings so that you can make clearer choices. This in turn may enable you to take control of your life for a more fulfilled way of living.
Who Is Counselling For?
Talking therapy is for anyone who feels that they need that extra support to feel better about themselves or to manage important relationships in a more satisfying way.
People like you and me are trying to get on with their lives in this very hectic world of ours where close families may live hundreds of miles away, or they may live nearby but the relationship is less than supportive or even downright destructive. Sometimes we can feel unhappy, stressed and confused and yet are unable to identify the problem. Important changes in our lives can play havoc with our feelings. Perhaps the birth of your first baby, a family bereavement, change of job, or relocating to a new area. All of these life-changing events can turn your emotional world upside down, leaving you feeling isolated, frightened and stressed.
However, it may not be any of the above. It may be a general feeling of unhappiness and general discontentment with life that has not been helped by visits to the family doctor, who will only be able to offer you the standard 10 minutes of their time and a prescription for anti-depressants. Although medication can relieve the symptoms they do not get to the root of the problem. A combination of talking therapy and medication is thought to be helpful to start with, until you reach a point where you may feel you are ready for a decrease in medication. But always carefully monitored by your GP or medical professional.
The therapist can help you to make sense of it all, by listening and responding appropriately can make a huge difference to the quality of your life. In the past, ‘being in therapy’ was mainly for our American cousins but things are changing and talking therapies are more and more accepted here in Britain too and without any stigma.
There is always an appropriate counsellor out there for you and chance to talk about absolutely anything that may be worrying you or causing you unhappiness or discontent can make a huge difference to your emotional, and also physical, health.