There is no right way ‘to do’ counselling which sounds unsatisfactory I know. It is really going to depend so much on the relationship which develops between you and your Counsellor. It is also going to depend on the model of therapy your Counsellor draws on. For more on this please read my blog post different approaches to psychological therapy.
Isn’t it funny how we can go through life being told what to do by other people. Parents, teachers, bosses, partners and even people who claim to be our friends. At some point most of us decide that we can make our own decisions and stop deferring to others. We learn to say what we need. We stop believing that other people have all the answers. We start to believe in ourselves and realise that even if we get it wrong we can learn from the experience and repair damage if necessary.
Unfortunately not everyone reaches this stage and I often work with clients who have no belief or confidence in themselves. It becomes obvious when they realise that counselling is not about being told what to do and that even though I’m a Counsellor I am not going to make their decisions for them. I love the phrase ‘why don’t you work on your own story.’ It says so much about opportunities, potential, choices and responsibility. It is not about trying to control others or about trying to live your life through others or blaming others. It’s about realising that it’s up to you.
Mind you saying ‘why don’t you work on your own story’ is really assuming that you are able to. That you have an awareness that other people may be pulling the strings in your life. I don’t want to diminish the fact that many people have few choices. Poverty is one of the biggest causes of mental health problems. You may feel oppressed and stuck in a job you hate. You may feel trapped in a bad relationship. You may feel you have to do what your family tells you otherwise you will be rejected. I can’t change any of these things. I can’t change society for you. I can’t make life fairer for you. I can work on my story though and do my bit and maybe that means working with you. Helping you to find a way to cope with the things you cannot change while working on the things you can change.
1st January, 2011 – The first day of the rest of your life
I would warmly like to wish you a very happy new year and I hope that you are able to find some joy and peace this year. I also know that this may not be possible for everyone, for those that feel depressed, disappointed or anxious or have suffered losses or are facing some kind of mid-life crisis. I am particularly thinking of those people today.
It is great to feel optimistic about the new year. A clean page waiting for us to write our story on it. New beginnings, fresh starts, opportunities, new goals and dreams, new relationships, a brand new diary to fill with private thoughts, feelings, reflections and desires. It reminds me of starting school with my new exercise books and being determined to keep them neat and tidy, free from doodles and spills. It seems so easy at the start of something new to see what we would like, so much harder to follow it through sometimes.
The start of a new year always involves some feelings of loss and this is normal. It may be that we are starting to feel our age or feeling disappointed with the way our life is turning out or regretting some of our behaviour or decisions. If you are feeling like this I hope that you are able to offer some compassion to yourself and stop beating yourself up. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. A chance to start creating a new story for yourself. What is standing in your way?
Copyright 2011 Christine Bonsmann. All rights reserved.
This time of year often holds many memories for people. It is a ‘back to school’ period and for some this is a period of excitement and challenge but for others it is a period of anxiety and dread. [Read more…] about Are you ready to change?
As the work of counselling progresses some clients will say that they feel lonely. It can be very painful to realise that we feel lonely and it takes courage to let someone else know that this is how we are feeling. [Read more…] about Feeling Lonely