Why Counselling?

From time-to-time clients will ask me how and why I came into counselling, and I often give the same clichéd answers; because I like people and I want to help. After a client asked me this only this week, I found myself reflecting, thinking about the how and the why and looking past those cliched answers. So, here’s my why and a little bit more about me…

I grew up as a child of a disabled parent who throughout my early childhood and teens spent long stretches of time in hospital. Having 2 younger siblings, I quickly became a second pair of hands and learned how to gain praise and reward for work; it felt good when I did something that made the lives of others that bit more bearable.  This pattern of behaviour, these conditions of worth have followed me throughout my life.  

I was always encouraged to work to the best of my ability, to have ambition and work for what I wanted whilst maintaining a sense of self and family values. This was central to developing good implicit self-esteem. Throughout school I was part of a solid friendship group but, as many young people do, encountered periods of bullying and ridicule. This understandably affected my self-esteem and self-worth but a secure attachment to parents and siblings made home a safe place to be.

Through my homelife and career I soon learned that helping and serving people gave me satisfaction; a sense of who I was, feeling valued and needed. I went on to work with young people as a leader in Girlguiding and took on other volunteering roles always with people at the heart, regardless of age.

As time passed by my own family grew, relatives passed away and working within my primary career in the health service became physically more difficult. I began to question what I could do to move forward and secure a future for myself.  

Having worked with people on a one-to-one basis for many decades, encountering people from all walks of life, I have built up good meaningful relationships. In my health care role, many patients talked about and brought photos of important family occasions, speaking of happy times. Others spoke about personal things (some previously unspoken); domestic violence, abuse, complicated home lives, problems at work and the death of loved ones. I have encounter people’s behaviour under the influence of drugs and alcohol, psychosis and countless others suffering with their mental health.

From time to time a patient would comment that each visit was like a therapy session. People felt better after being able to talk, no matter how briefly. These comments provided the seed of an idea. I was good with people, I made them feel comfortable enough to disclose personal thoughts and they felt in some way better from our encounters; why didn’t I take this further and make counselling a profession? Build on the skills I’ve learnt in an informal way and turn them into a real skill. I feel privileged to be part of so many people’s lives and to be entrusted with some of their most personal thoughts. Now I get the joy and satisfaction from being able to help people formally on a daily basis and see their lives transform for the better.

In my next blog I’m going to reflect a little on my journey to becoming a qualified counsellor but in the meantime, I’d love to get to know you. Please reach out and send me a message or join me on my Facebook and Instagram pages, you can find me @FlourishThroughTalk.

Are you ready to flourish?

or contact me

By email: hello@flourishthroughtalk.co.uk
By phone: 07956 054 029


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