As I reflect on the nature of counselling and the clients I see at WholeHearted You Counselling Busselton, I am left wondering how I can change an outsider’s view of what counselling is. How can I undo the perception that it’s only for certain people who aren’t coping, who have “real issues”, or that if you have counselling you will be hauled into a world of analytical mumbo jumbo where the counsellor will judge your take on life, blame your parents for everything and dredge up every unhappy or clumsy moment since you were born?
Many of us feel that we SHOULD know, or that we DO know, how to run our own lives and we don’t need help with that… until we do and still we don’t ask for it. Crazy, isn’t it?
It never occurs to some of us that there could be an alternative way to be us, one that doesn’t mean returning over and over again to the same crime scene of ideas, patterns, behaviours, emotions or relationships that just don’t serve us.
Most people have a desire to live well and be authentic, and we kid ourselves that that would be achievable if only it wasn’t for all the obstacles in our way or our own personal character traits or family hand-me-down patterns. And we have this hazy notion that some day in the future, as if by osmosis, we will get there once we’ve wrestled control back from the hurly-burly of life. In counselling, we call that magical thinking.
Yet, the more we are exposed to this hurly-burly, the harder it becomes to put the game face on and walk out the front door.
We know when we are lying to ourselves about being okay, but we have become so expert at it that we can kid ourselves that in the bigger scheme of things lying to ourselves doesn’t matter just this one time, oh, and then the next and the one after that and so on.
We tell ourselves that change is uncomfortable and we’re too tired/numb/busy to face the challenge of going there, so we coast along until we hit the next bump in the road and the one after that and then the next one after that… you get the picture.
It does not have to be like that.
Plus, it’s not always about your head; your heart needs to be heard too.
When you gift yourself the time to press the pause button so that you can slow down or stop the momentum long enough to ask yourself a few timely questions and, perhaps more importantly, allow someone from outside your normal audience to ask those questions it’s common to find, to your immense relief, that not only is counselling helpful but it can be the gateway to living a more empowered life.
The beauty of counselling is that it can show you that you don’t have to be broken or damaged (although we can walk that path too) to desire a healthy change that can produce a more holistic and rewarding way to live your life. It doesn’t have to be long-term or drag every last bit of crud up from your past. Sometimes it is handy to have someone to validate your experience of being you and then to help you map out where to next and how best to navigate and negotiate your way there.
I liken it to finding an experienced tour guide when you are down on your luck in a foreign city and you have been going around in circles in the Ancient Quarter for days. No matter which turn you take, door you open or bus you climb on, you can’t manage to find your way out and nobody speaks your language. Then an experienced tour guide shows up.
Think about it… perhaps it’s time to press the pause button and take a chance on counselling.
Genevieve 0478 628 288