Counselling in Wokingham – Cats and Dogs and Carousels

Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406paulcockayne3@gmail.com
This blog is intended to give you a flavour of how I work as a counsellor. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links above

As I write this, I can look out of the window at a blue, and almost cloudless sky, which is a novelty; the rain over the last few weeks has seemed relentless, and though we have had sunny periods they have been swiftly interrupted by very heavy rain. My garden is a bog, the weeds are flourishing, the lawn is unmowed.

When the weather is this bad, we tend to shut ourselves away indoors – Noah even built himself an ark! We hide ourselves away and wait for the rain to stop, and this can feel quite oppressive, even depressing.

We can, of course do things to brighten our confinement, playing games with the family, cooking something special, even catching up on household chores. But nevertheless, it tends to be very welcome when the rains stop; it seems that there is something about not being able to go outside that is quite depressing – lack of space, loss of choice, loss of freedom probably all have something to do with that.

It seems to me that this is similar to how we can feel at other times when we are down, or depressed, or are struggling to deal with a difficult problem in our lives. We can find ourselves mentally trapped by circumstances. We lack space, have no choice, are not in control. Thoughts may be whirring round in our head but not helping us to move forwards. That gives me an image of being stuck on the inside of a carousel, the brightly-painted horses passing round and round us in a blur, leaving us unable to look at any one of them long enough to get a clear picture of them, and quite incapable of stepping onto the carousel to enjoy the ride. All we can do is to sit tight and wait for the horses to stop.

Counselling can’t stop the rain or slow down the carousel, but it can give you an alternative way to deal with the thoughts that are whirling round in your head. Talking about those thoughts can get them out in the open; you can lay them out in front of you and experience them differently. With a counsellor you can look at them from alternative angles, you can walk around them, you can start to have control over them, rather than feeling that you are powerless, in the middle of the carousel, waiting for the rains to stop.

When clients first come to see me, I quite often hear a quite confused story. In talking to me about their situation, clients often “dot about”, telling me about events out of sequence, or jumping from one topic to another. This is, of course, a sign of confusion in themselves, but in general, it only takes one or two sessions before the story starts to become more coherent, before it becomes clearer what is important and what is not.

The horses slow down, their shapes become clear rather than blurred. The rain eases off, blue patches appear between the clouds.

You can go outside again.

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About Paul Cockayne

Counsellor, musician, iPhone developer, games-player, cheese-lover....
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