Many people find the idea of coming to counselling a daunting prospect. Not only might they be opening themselves up for the very first time, they’ll be opening up to a complete stranger. I believe that the emotional pain is more often than not the result of an unfortunate set of life experiences, or some other factor beyond our control, and isn’t due to any ‘fault’ in that person for which they might be ‘judged’.
From the first meeting, many people describe a sense of relief from sharing their thoughts and feelings. For many, it is a first experience of being listened to without criticism or judgement and it opens a window of hope for change and personal development.
Once you’ve taken the first step, people frequently discover that the knowledge that the therapist is in fact a complete stranger, and is separate from their own life, has a liberating effect. There can also be some value in the fact that the therapist is impartial, and is not emotionally invested in you. What goes on during a session will always remain between you and your therapist, (with rare exceptions), and there’s no chance of anyone in your everyday life hearing anything about it – in fact, complete confidence and trust is essential to the very process of therapy, and is a principle to which I’m ethically and professionally bound.