Many of us enjoy solving problems, many more of us watch programmes where we watch others find solutions whether it’s Dr Who, Jonathan Creek or Sherlock Holmes; we like puzzles and their answers.
We have an ideal in our society that we can somehow know everything, that answers are just waiting to be found, if we only knew the right place to look. Magazines offer advice on subjects as diverse as dieting and dating. But is life really like that?
We all struggle with problems and issues in our lives whether it’s that unexpected bill, the car breaking down or the loss of a loved one. Some of these struggles are easier to work out than others; in part because they are more straight-forward, but also because we don’t attach so many deep emotions to them.
When you have experienced a trauma, a bereavement, disability, illness, depression or anxiety the issue you are struggling with is not just a problem solving exercise, it involves working through feelings like grief, despair, pain, sadness, loss and confusion.
Sometimes there is no solution, things you cannot undo, losses that cannot be regained, at these moments things can feel overwhelming. Counselling is primarily a safe, contained space where thoughts and feelings are explored in a non-judgemental environment. This is very important because when we don’t know, when we are overwhelmed by feeling, we all need to find a place where we can express our hurt and fear and pain, to let it go.
Freud coined the phrase ‘working through’ to describe what happens during therapy, it is deliberately vague to allow space for whatever you may need to express or discuss to come to terms with things.
Working through something in order to ‘come to terms’ is not always an easy process, it can mean feeling and talking about things that hurt us and cause us pain. My job as a counsellor is to support you in that process, walk beside you on your journey, listen to how life is for you, your experiences, hopes and dreams.
In that witnessing of how things are for you, I can help you to listen to yourself, find your inner strength, find meaning in the experiences and events you have faced in your life. To know, accept and love yourself for who you are. To live with the things you cannot change, and to change the things you can.
All of us struggle from time to time and need compassion and love to get through it, if things are getting too much and you feel you need more support counselling may be right for you.