As we said on Saturday it is time for Helen to give her road to recovery.
As I have said in a previous blog I suffer from something called Functional Movement Disorder and Dissociation Behaviour. There is a lot of information in that blog about signs and symptoms. Today I want to take you through what it is like to have counselling.
What is a counsellor?
Counsellors are the people who will help you navigate the traumas of life and the curve balls which are thrown at us. As we have said both Rosie and I have had counselling over the years, and we have different lengths of time in using it as well. Rosie has had both private and NHS based practice whereas mine was private. My counselling was every week for around two years before I discharged myself. Counselling has given me the information I needed, my trusty pack of cards and I have been helped through some tricky life turns. My counselling ended several years ago. In the future if I need it I would go back.
I was scared!
An experience of work place bullying and a loss of identity lead me to counselling. Turning up up to a clinic I hovered outside for a few minutes waiting for my feet (and confidence) to walk me through that door. My feet eventually took me in, and I went over to the reception desk where I said something along the lines of “I have seen on your website you have counselling facilities, I have no idea what kind I need but I think I need to speak to someone”. The reception asked if she thought it was a general talking therapy of something called cognitive behavioural therapy. I said it was probably more a talking therapy as I no idea what the other one was. I said talking would be a good place to start and if I needed the other one then I was sure that would become apparent. The receptionist recommended a particular person and an appointment was set up for the following week.
The counselling room
The following week I turned up in that waiting room and waited for my allocated time. My counsellor appeared and I was taken upstairs to a room at the back of the building. The room was red with a big floor to ceiling window and a net curtain. Through the window I could watch the planes going into London Heathrow too. Also, in the room there were two armchairs along with a desk and a desk chair. I decided to sit in one of the armchairs as it looked comfortable. Next to the armchair was a smaller table with a box of tissues on it.
A room of safety
This was to become the room of safety, whatever was said in this room was not going to be judged. I could say whatever I wanted and all that was going to happen was listening from my counsellor and talking by me. One particular session I sat in my outdoor jacket and winter hat, I can’t remember the ins and outs of why but the counsellor didn’t even bat an eyelid. I was safe so we continued. As I have said it was a safe room at the time, I needed it.
What did my counsellor do?
My counsellor listened to whatever was troubling me on that day, helped me navigate my troubles back into a reasonable thought and sometimes offered a solution to the problem. They made me do the work, they didn’t turn around and say this is what you should do, and this is what I think is right. I liked that approach and it worked for me.
Over the two years
As I have said I was there for about two years and we navigated a lot of different topics from work to family to travelling to love to relationships to Rosie (I had met Rosie a year in) to what other people think to exercise to LGBT issues to what makes me feel good and so on. I am not going to go into the ins and outs of what was said as that is a very private matter.
Do not let anyone push you into telling you what has been discussed within a counselling meeting. If you are happy to tell them then do so but do not feel obligated and pressured to do so. Also, remember that you may not want to tell someone (counsellor, friend or family member) on a Tuesday but may be willing to tell them three weeks the following Tuesday. The time needs to be right for you. I am a thinker so I will get to the subject but there may be a gap before I do so. Many of my friends have referred to me as a closed book or a cryptic clue person. They are probably the one thinking back now going “oh yes” and now have a good laugh about it.
Today I have my wife to listen to my rants, issues, personal feelings and so on. I also have my family and friends who I turn to. I learnt through counselling that asking for help is ok. No one is going to judge me for doing that. Depending on the situation I willing tell you the ins and outs of something. However, if I don’t feel like it I will say so and that is fine too.
It needs to be right!
Counselling may be recommended to you to help you. Here is my advice: don’t be ashamed or afraid to take it. Obviously different counsellors have different ways and methods of counselling and that is up to them. The situation needs to be right for you, no one else. Just you!
As we have said both Rosie and I have been through counselling. If you have any questions just send us an email or Facebook chat. We are more than happy to help you out.