Take my hand, I’ll help you up. When I explain life counselling that’s the phrase I use to describe what I do. For a very good reason.
When I first started my counselling training I knew I wanted to give a hand to help others. So I worked hard to process my own mental and emotional ‘stuff’. I also read as much as I could about counselling theories. Why would talking to a stranger work? What was the magic ingredient I needed to offer so that people got well again. As I studied more and more it seemed that there were lots of ingredients involved. What could help was different with each person. Something of an obvious point I guess. But one that it took me a long time to discover because I was swept up in all the theories about what makes us tick.
Eventually I had the study under my belt and was working as a person-centred counsellor. Keen to do as much as possible for my clients I took on more studying. And then more. I ended up with a Masters Degree in Counselling. But was I any closer to the magic answer? Could I help my clients regain mental and emotional balance? It seemed the more I learned the less I knew. I was spending most of my time working with people that I wasn’t sure I was helping. They didn’t seem to manage to make any inmprovements to their lives. And I was getting exhausted by my work. It began to seem pointless.
It was then that I noticed something. When I offered help some people took it and reshape their lives. But others didn’t. I wondered why.
I feel we are all so used to being the giver, the helping hand, that we never question what we are doing. Or if it works. However I was starting to work with my clients in a different way. I seemed to know what they were hiding from me in my sessions. And I seemed to ask the questions that finally brought the information to light. Sometimes they didn’t even know what they had been hiding from themselves. This intuitive insight meant that I could offer what was needed in a much more specific way. I could be to the point in achieving the release of stuck feelings and thoughts. It was quite a revelation for me.
Because I also found that some people resisted the help of a hand up. They actually wanted a hand out. Their need was for someone to ‘own’ their issues so they didn’t have to. When I was offering my help in the form of supporting them to work through issues for themselves they tended to move on. I was fascinated by that. Pretty soon I could work out very early on who wanted a hand up and who didn’t. I started to focus my work towards those who were really ready to make the inner changes necessary for an improved life. Whilst willing to support in a more limited way those who wanted me to be responsible for their lives. Because eventually everyone who is stuck tends to want to move on.
I love life counselling. It can help with any issue by getting behind what’s on the surface. Allowing me to be the helping hand when the client is really ready to step up.
Day 523 of my blogging challenge