Getting real about counselling
Wendy Gilroy from Mind Momentum Counselling for Women smashes a few unhelpful perceptions of counselling services.
I work with women from many countries around the world – through a secure and confidential online therapy platform. I also support women face-to-face, in Sydney, Australia...
Regardless of what country my clients are from, there are often overlapping themes, similar challenges with unhelpful thinking patterns, feelings of being overwhelmed, or confusion relating to making a significant life decision (whether it’s related to work, in a relationship or something else entirely). In many instances, common symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression are also shared with me.
There seems to be a misconception by some people, that only people who are really struggling with some aspect of their life, should speak to a counsellor or therapist.
However, you don’t need to be diagnosed with a mental illness to seek counselling (although therapy is of course beneficial for those with a mental health diagnosis). And, you don’t need to visit your general practitioner, and wait in a queue, and you don’t need to feel that you need some kind of label. You’re not broken – you may just be a little ‘stuck’, and worrying has taken hold of you at this point in time. Most importantly, you can move past this.
I believe that seeking counselling when things feel a little overwhelming or problematic, can actually put the brakes on a mental health condition from developing – whether this be an anxiety or mood disorder, or depression.
Counselling or therapy can be a wonderful option for assisting all sorts of individuals, to feel better about themselves, and to grow their confidence, self-esteem, or work through problems they’re facing.
I would say, that many individuals, who choose to seek counselling are invested in their health and wellbeing; they are putting themselves first (they are the brave and courageous ones), striving to be the best version of themselves possible, at a time where there are so many demands placed upon them.
So often, we are so good at giving to others (especially the mothers amongst us); doing what’s asked of us, meeting deadlines, feeling the pressure of daily life, that sometimes we forget to look after ourselves… Yet, if we wish to flourish and thrive, feel confident in who we are, and what we’re capable of achieving, we need to care better for emotional wellbeing – we need to change the way we care for ourselves.
Perhaps my clients can be seen as those women who are tired of just ‘getting through each day’ – they have recognised that they want to thrive, they are worth investing in, and the rewards from ‘filling their cup’, will absolutely spill onto others in their life.
Being with a counsellor, is an opportunity to share your inner most thoughts and feelings – even the ones that you may be holding off from sharing with your best friend, your partner, your mother, or your boss.
Why do people hold back from sharing a part of themselves?
Often times, it’s because they’re afraid of being judged by others.
Because the other person they’ve thought about talking to, may not really ‘get’ them.
Counselling can help clarify a problem or issue being faced by someone; whether this is at work, in their relationship, during their pregnancy, or during the early years of motherhood.
And, counselling can help you look at your situation, thoughts, or feelings from a whole new perspective.
Sometimes, a good counsellor can even come across as ‘reading your mind’ so-to-speak; professional counselling is a learned skill, as well as an intuitive profession for many. Many counsellors have spent years studying psychology or other forms of psychotherapy, and honing their relational skills to be the most supportive person they can be. They want nothing more than to ‘get you’ so that you can move forward and find your happier self.
Counsellor’s interests lie in seeing you reach your goals, overcoming your challenges, feeling ‘better’, finding the answers you’re looking for, or in some instances, simply allowing you to be heard in a way that no-one else has – because of judgements, bias, busy-ness, feeling burdensome, etc.
And when the right Counsellor for you is truly listening to you, empathising with you, and honouring your feelings without judgement or expectations – this can be a truly wonderful experience to help you feel nurtured, understood, valued and to really help you flourish.
Wendy Gilroy is a Mother of 2, and a professional Counsellor for women. Wendy has a degree in Psychology, a Masters degree in Addiction Studies, and a Diploma of Counselling. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and offers secure ONLINE counselling for women around the world, as well as telephone, face-to-face and home visit services for mums.