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  • samreastwood


Well, this is my first ever blog post. Like anything new it feels a bit daunting! Much like beginning counselling, I wonder if anyone will be interested in what I have to say, or will I bore people? Will anyone want to take the time to hear me out? Why would anyone want to listen to me ramble on? It feels out of my comfort zone. I have been here before. Over the years I have seen several counsellors, for a variety of reasons. Always I go into that first session with a sense of trepidation, with all the same feelings as I have starting this blog.

Each counsellor I’ve seen has given me a different experience. I’ve seen some in the depths of my distress; they have held me through grief, depression, anxiety, recovery from narcissistic abuse, coming to terms with chronic illness, and deep held shame. Others have helped me to explore my personality, figure out who I am and why I felt drawn to counselling as a profession. Sometimes they have helped me to redraw my boundaries, understand my needs and desires and how my history has shaped the person I am. Sometimes they have been with me as I cried, sat with me in my pain, helped me know that I am not alone. Other times they have given me space to vent, get angry, rail against the unfairness of it all. They would often offer a new perspective which changed the way I viewed myself entirely.

At times, all of the counsellors I’ve worked with have prodded, poked, gently guided and pushed me into saying the things I’m leaving unsaid. Giving me a safe space to dip one toe in to the waters of things I know but do not want to know. I have often left a session feeling exhausted, drained, and wondering what I am going to do with the new found knowledge, feeling scared that inevitably, now I know, that something will need to change and that I am in charge of that change. With that also comes excitement, because after all, what did I want from counselling, if it wasn’t change? My counsellors have given me the support I have needed to go for a paddle, get up to my knees, and eventually swim, knowing that at first, at least, they’re there to stop me from drowning. Each counsellor has given me a unique experience, wrapped up in the relationship between us, a mixture of who they are and who I am intertwining to bring about something new.

If you’re looking for a counsellor, know that this relationship is what makes the therapy work, or not. If they remind you of your annoying high school maths teacher, or your abusive ex, they may not be the right one. A good therapist will allow you the autonomy to choose if they are the right fit. Counselling is a process. It is hard and it is work. Your therapist won’t wave a magic wand and fix it all for you, even when they wish they could. It will sometimes feel worse before it feels better. No… it will almost always feel worse before it feels better. You have to pick at the unhealed wound to allow it to knit back together stronger. Choose a therapist who you feel safe with. This doesn’t always happen immediately, but trust your instincts, you know yourself better than anyone. Your therapist will be non-judgemental and accept you exactly as you are, even when you feel at your worst. Sometimes they will point out things you don’t want to hear, occasionally it will feel like they don’t understand, but I promise you that they will always be rooting for you.

Well, that wasn’t so bad. First blog post done, dusted, and out in the world. Sometimes it just takes a small step. If you’re looking to take yours, I’m sending you faith and courage.

Sam x

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