Counselling in the Real World...
'I found Pam very professional and understanding of my feelings / issues' June 2018
"I would just like to say thank you, I'm not sure I would have made it this far without your help and guidance"Arland Counselling Client
Bank Holidays can be amazing. But often they’re not. Sometimes we look forward to them so much that they can’t possible live up to our expectations... And sometimes we feel sure they’re going to be rubbish before they even happen... and then they become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Usually it all comes down to where we are as a whole, in our lives. Occasionally a Bank Holiday can be an oasis in a desert of low mood but often it feels like a microcosm of life in general. For example, if life is generally over-busy and we never get a minute to ourselves then fitting in going away for the weekend can be the last straw. If, on the other hand, we find ourselves alone for the Bank Holiday weekend, just like every other weekend, then we can feel life is intolerably lonely and that we are rejected, unpopular or even unloveable.
Every Bank Holiday weekend has its ups and downs and often encompasses a point at which we reflect on how we got to where we are in life. And if that’s not where we want to be then we may end up feeling intensely sad or frustrated... Maybe we may feel a sense of loss for someone or something gone forever. Or perhaps we feel lost or defeated, wondering how we can ever get through our current situation, or how we can ever change things for the better.
Identifying that we feel overwhelmed can be a good starting point for counselling. Working with a neutral therapist in a safe, confidential setting can help us to get things into perspective, to rebuild our sense of self and to regain confidence. Once we take care of ourselves and rebuild our emotional reserves, it becomes achievable to work out how we can move forward in life, avoiding past mistakes. We can learn about ourselves and what we really need to be in good place, which in turn can inform our decisions and help us - and those we support - to get onto a positive, healthy path through life. So if a Bank Holiday weekend gives us an important chance to look in our emotional mirror then it need not be the end of the world, in actual fact it can be the start of a whole new era...
This can be a strange time of year if you’re young...
You might have worked really hard all year, and your teachers may have said you’re definitely on track for great exam results... and then the world has fallen in on you... you haven’t got ‘the grades that matter’.
Or you might not have lifted a finger all year, believing there was no point... and now you don’t know who you are or where you’re going... you haven’t passed ‘the exams that mattered’.
Or you might have got the best exam results in the world, shocked even yourself, and now you have to leave home and go and live in some other city miles away from everyone you know, and from your family... and now you’re not even sure you want to...
So Exam Results really are the Game Changer.
You might have been waiting forever to leave home and go to uni and now your dream is shattered. You have to search desperately for somewhere that’ll have you with your exam results. But what’s the point of doing a degree in the back of beyond anyway...?
Your parents might be mad at you about your exam results. More mad than you’ve ever seen them before. It may feel scary that they’re not on your side.
It may feel scary that you can’t keep going to school anymore.
Scary that you can’t go to the same place your mates are going.
It may feel scary that you don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life.
Scary that you thought you did and now you’re not sure...
You may feel your life is over, before it’s even started. This isn’t true but it may feel like that.
So what can you do about Exam Results?
And why am I talking about this on a Counselling Blog...?
Well my point is that Counselling can be really useful in a situation like this -
- The counsellor is a ‘neutral’ person. They’re not your Mum or your Dad or your teacher. The counsellor accepts you for who you are and doesn’t judge you for your Exam Results... or for anything else.
- The counsellor can support you to accept and come to terms with what’s happened. That might seem impossible now but it can be done.
- The counsellor can help you to get things into perspective. This might seem like the end of the world right now but it’s tiny compared to your whole life and everything you’re going to do in it...
- The counsellor will support you to look at yourself and work out who you really are, and to work out what you really want out of life, what makes you happy and what really doesn’t.
- The counsellor will support you to build a new image of yourself and to feel confident about yourself.
- The counsellor can support you to evaluate the choices that you have here and now.
When we’re feeling really anxious or sad, sometimes we need a space to take all our worries and fear and sadness so that we can put them down for a while. We need someone to listen while we get it all out. We need to find out who we are before we can sort anything out and move on...
After Exam Results, Counselling is that space.