Why do people come for counselling?

Hitting a crisis point in your life can be scary.

The idea of counselling can be a daunting one, often surrounded by the mystery of what to expect.

You might come to see a counsellor for a variety of reasons. You may be facing a life-changing event that has created shock or grief. You may be experiencing feelings of depression and isolation, low self-esteem or suffering from feelings of anxiety, without fully understanding why.

There may be events from your past that are preventing you from living your life in the way you would like to.

Equally, you may be experiencing a lack of direction, feelings of boredom or of being trapped. A significant relationship may be proving difficult for you to manage healthily. You may be aware of self-destructive patterns occurring in your life which are causing you or those around you pain.

Extreme feelings such as anger, shame, guilt, sadness or loneliness may be affecting your daily life, keeping you stuck in an uncomfortable place.

Once you have taken the brave step to contact a counsellor, it is usual to feel nervous. Initially, it can be difficult to talk about the issues that have brought you to the therapy room. You may experience fear of being judged or criticised. Perhaps you have never felt that anyone has really listened to you or understood you, let alone accepted you.

The relationship that is formed with a counsellor can be very different to previous relationships. It can be an environment where there is no ‘right or wrong’ and where no judgments are made. Counselling provides a space in which you can explore the issues that are affecting you, to raise your self-awareness. Often, the more accepting of yourself you become, the more options for change emerge.

Carl Rogers, the founder of Humanistic counselling, said “The curious paradox is when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change” . Counselling can help you to accept the things that you cannot change and help you to bring about the changes that are possible.