Does counselling work? |

Can I ever know how something will turn out?

You know those moments in life when you have a yearning for certainty? There’s a deep pull inside which says you wish you knew what would happen if… you made that choice, placed your bet on that horse, took the left road rather than the right.

If only fortune telling were easy.

So does counselling work? If only being able to predict the outcome of counselling were so easy too.

If you’re thinking of counselling, you’re probably already not feeling great about your life at the moment. Somehow there’s grit in the machine.
Maybe the hopes you had for your life are not being fulfilled or perhaps you feel prey to such strong feelings that they’re interfering with how you live your life.

There’s also this voice inside wondering quite loudly if you do come to see a counsellor, will counselling work? You might be asking, whether stirring up feelings, exposing yourself to painful things, allowing the shame of some of what’s happened in your life to surface, is worth it.

I mean, who in their right mind, willingly comes to talk to someone about their deepest, darkest stuff?

And that’s where it starts.

To have a counsellor bear witness to your experience. Someone who can face it down with you and leave you feeling that you weren’t making this up; this stuff really did and does hurt.

Just that simple connection, presence and bearing witness can be a powerful force for change. Suddenly you’re not alone; you’re not going around in circles; you’re not trapped without a way out. Someone else knows what it’s like for you, to be you.

Any guarantees?
Of course I wish I could offer certainty that counselling will work. Cast iron guarantees, money back offers and that stuff.

I have a strong belief that when you decide to start this process, it’s not just about the pain you’re experiencing in your life. It’s also about a deeper part of yourself that is calling to be healed and that wants to feel whole again.

Time and time again, I bear witness to, and am deeply moved by, clients reconnecting with their deepest inner wisdom that knows what they need to feel better in their lives.

I trust and hold true that you will find what you need in yourself, with my support and guidance as counsellor.

And those questions about if it works? 
At the heart of each person’s existence, whatever their choices, there is a desire to have healthy relationshps with others.

Often because of childhood and other experiences in life, you learn other ways of being, which aren’t so healthy and satisfying. These strategies keep you safe with the illusion of being more loveable to those who are close to you (e.g. by pleasing others, never getting angry, not forming close relationships, sabotaging success) but as you grow older, those strategies wear very thin.

You start to question if they serve you any more. You begin to want to shake them off but you don’t know how. Counselling helps you find a way to do so, by experiencing a different type of relationship which is healthy at the core.

You start to grow aware of your patterns, fears and limiting beliefs and to replace them with alternative ones with power and choice at the heart.

Of course, there are other ways to make these changes in life: not everyone wants or needs counselling. And there are things you can do for yourself to get the heart of what you need. Here’s one, for a start…

This week’s Lifeline
This exercise is a visualisation you can do for yourself to connect with that sense of potential and wisdom inside.

Find a quiet place where you can be yourself, undisturbed for a period.

Make yourself comfortable and bring your attention gently to you breath. Notice the point at which your breath enters your body and see if you can follow it down through your nose and throat into your lungs and belly.

Stay with your breath for a minute or to, just being in contact with the physical sensations of breathing.

Now bring your attention inside to a still and quiet place within.

You’re going to imagine a rose, a beautiful red rose. Call it into your mind’s eye and bring it as fully to life as you can. Notice the texture of the petals, the folds and complexity of the rose. Notice the variations of texture, the complex patterns and interlacing of the petals. Notice the green under the red as the stalk joins the red. Notice the perfume, rich, intoxicating, sweet.

Immerse yourself utterly in this experience. Become the rose for a moment or two. Feel yourself in its simple, perfection and beauty.

This rose symbolises your wisdom, your deepest self. It is a treasure to be honoured. You can revisit it, time and again, knowing it offers you all you need for your life.

When you are ready to end, come gently out of the meditation and take some moments to come back to yourself.

Write about your experience if you wish, and if not, try to form a memory of your experience you can carry with you to recall when you need. The rose is the gift and certainty of your inner wisdom.

Feeling in need of help but unsure if it’s the right step for you?
If you feel ready for change in your life but are not sure how to start, why not get in touch to book a first appointment?

Photo credit: anjan58 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND