Louise Rodgers MSc MBACP
Counselling and Psychotherapy
in South-East London
Counselling can be profoundly helpful in many ways. Perhaps the most important counselling benefit, is that here is a place where you can be understood. In counselling you are met exactly where you are right now, without expectations and without judgement
There are many other counselling benefits. These include:
- deepening self-awareness which then leads to making the necessary changes in your life
- catharsis: expressing how things are and the pain you are going through, to someone who is genuinely there for you. This can make a huge difference, taking the weight off your shoulders
- an opportunity to work through inner conflicts and questions with expert support and guidance
- greater inner harmony and a sense of balance
- achieving more of your potential
- proven approaches and methods to come through anxiety and depression. After all, we all deserve to lead lives free from the black cloud of depression and overwhelming anxiety
- greater sense of control over your life and personal empowerment
- a way to do something practical to help yourself
I am also able to offer understanding and support for those living with illness. I am happy to explore the practicalities of managing your condition. This includes the difficulties of dealing with ‘the system’ and the pluses and minuses of being a patient within the NHS medical model.
What prevents people from coming to counselling?
Since the counselling benefits are so real and powerful, what stops people from getting the help that they need?
Mental health stigma
Even now in the twenty-first century, there is still the belief that mental health problems are embarrassing or need to be kept secret. Yet just as we would go to a doctor if we suffered a broken leg or arm, so it’s sensible to see a professional therapist, if we are suffering from anxiety, depression or a broken heart.
Ignoring long-term problems
It’s sometimes hard to notice and to accept that our problems or difficult feelings are ongoing or long-term. Even in serious depression, it’s usual to feel better at times. As a result it’s possible to ignore the much longer stretches of time when we feel terrible.
Not believing we can change
Some people simply don’t believe that achieving long-term change is possible. Yet the truth is counselling has become more and more popular over the last few decades, because it works. Counselling really can help you feel differently about yourself. It can also help you act more positively and effectively.
Even with those facts of life that can’t be changed, the benefits of sharing how things are for you with someone who really understands, are huge.
Problems choosing the right counsellor
Sifting through the vast amount of counsellors on offer via the internet or the many counselling directories, can be daunting. Perhaps the best approach when seeking a counsellor, is to make a list of several counsellors who seem right. Then try them all. It’s perfectly OK to see a number of counsellors for just one session each and then to choose the one who feels most suited to you. After all, research shows that it’s the healthy, open, relationship between you and your counsellor which is the main factor which contributes to the success of counselling.
Counselling is self-indulgent/selfish
This problem, like the idea that ‘I just need to get on with it’, is becoming dated now, but still affects many of us. In fact going to counselling is a courageous way of doing something to help yourself and to change things.
‘Getting on with it’ usually means doing nothing at all and continuing to feel bad. Don’t let your life waste away in the hope that things will change by themselves. Get the professional help you need and deserve.
As Jeanette Winterson writes; ‘The only selfish life is a timid one. To hold back, to withdraw, to keep the best in reserve, both overvalues the self, and undervalues what the self is.’
Feeling scared, childish or stupid
It’s quite usual when we are in distress, to feel that our problems are stupid. That we ought to be able to deal with them by ourselves or that our struggles are too trivial to say out loud to someone else. But really, if a problem is causing you pain, it isn’t trivial. A professional counsellor will never make you feel that it is.
Talking makes things worse
It’s true that sharing how bad things are can be painful, because our problems can no longer be hidden or ignored. However, it’s also the first step to making things better.
Your problems actually exist whether you own up to them consciously or not. Surely it’s better to stop denying the truth of how things are and to take the plunge.
Received wisdom says ‘leave things alone’. Keep going, keep silent and let time do its magic. But painful feelings and deep emotional wounds won’t go away by themselves and sometimes it’s impossible to ‘get over it’ by ourselves. Then getting help is probably the wise and sensible thing to do.
To learn more
Counselling benefits are real. To learn more about these benefits, you could explore the BACP testimonial page BACP Counselling Testimonials. Or for more details about the types of issue which are brought to counselling, please see my Counselling Issues page.
Whether your problems are large or small, whether you seek long term support for life’s challenges or short-term therapy for a difficult time, counselling really could be the answer you are looking for.