If someone suggested you see a counsellor, what would your response be? Would it be something like, “Why would I need to do that – there’s nothing wrong with me?” In fact the vast majority of people who come to see me (or any counsellor) don’t have anything ‘wrong’ with them at all. Each person is a unique individual and the reasons for seeking counselling are just as varied.  Not everyone has a major problem – sometimes it’s an issue causing some concern.

Life can be pretty complex at times, and we may need to step back and look at what’s going on as we navigate our way through. Talking out loud to someone can be surprisingly helpful. I’m often amazed at how once a person talks about what’s going on in his/her life, before we reach the end of the session, he/she has reached a solution. My role is to listen and ask questions, but I never tell people what to do.  I provide a safe space where they can explore what’s going on.

At times, issues are more complex and a person needs to work through challenging emotions or traumatic experiences. This might include loss of some kind whether that’s loss of a loved one, a relationship, job, friend, health, peace of mind or finances to name a few.  So often we try and push these losses to the back of our minds, but that’s not the best approach as they just sit there in the background giving us a sense of unease. While unpacking them can be difficult, is far more helpful for our long-term wellbeing.

I would suggest the vast majority of us develop faulty thinking patterns occasionally.  If I was to ask you who your harshest critic was, who criticizes you the most – would it be another person, or would it be yourself?  We frequently place unrealistic expectations on ourselves that we would never consider imposing on another person. A counsellor can help us challenge some of those negative thinking patterns.

Constant change is a feature of our generation and we face situations that we’ve never faced before. These may require our learning new techniques of coping. We might want to improve and grow in some areas, or learn skills in areas like communication and the like.

Counselling provides a safe space where you can explore your thoughts and ideas. Confidentiality is assured at all times. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need counsellors, but our world’s not perfect. In the same way, not all counsellors and clients are perfects fits. If I felt I wasn’t the best person for a client, I would say so. If something’s causing you concern, consider chatting to someone about it – nothing is too trivial and there isn’t anything wrong with you!

Jenny Billingham