Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to my counselling blog. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links at the top of this page
Sometimes clients come to counselling doubting (perhaps under duress) whether it will help them. How can talking about things possibly change anything? And it isn’t easy to describe exactly how counselling works – it is quite a complex process that works differently for different people at different times. However, one theme that seems to recur is the idea that counselling helps clients to look at their situation in a different way – to look at things from the outside rather than the inside.
Problems can prey on our minds, can be frightening and confusing – and this can make it difficult to think about our problems in a logical, practical way. We can find ourselves thinking round in circles, going over the same ground again and again, seemingly unable to control what is happening inside our heads. The expression “I can’t see the wood for the trees” is very apt. It seems to me that confusion takes over, so that rather than thinking rationally about whatever may be worrying us, we can only think about the confusion, we worry about being worried – and that makes us even more worried.
If that is what is happening to you, counselling can help you to break these patterns by providing a different environment. It can be an environment where you can view your problems from a different perspective. In explaining things to someone else, you are forced to take them out of your head so that you can share them with your counsellor. It is as if you have placed your issues in the middle of the room and are able to walk around them, viewing them more dispassionately. Rather than your problems controlling you and your thinking, you can start to regain control yourself.
When clients first come to counselling, they often explain things to me a quite confused way. They might dot about in time, linking things that happened decades apart, or they might constantly be stopping as their emotions become too strong. This reflects their confusion. It’s like a tangled ball of wool – and where is the end of the thread? Without that, how can it ever be untangled?
As time goes on, my clients’ stories tend to become more coherent. They can start to work out what is really important and what is just confusing things. The ball of wool becomes a little looser, easier to separate. Things start to look and feel different, solutions start to emerge, decisions begin to feel a little simpler.
It isn’t that I, as a counsellor, have a magic wand that will make everything better, though I may have some useful ideas. It is that the process of talking about things with a skilled listener is helpful in itself – to ease confusion and bring clarity, to release pressure and give breathing room, to reduce constraints and increase control.