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  • kimzepler

I Don't Know

For some people, the assessment can be a useful starting point when beginning their counselling journey. It can bring into focus what we might like to talk about. We can however wander off the assessment path and that’s okay, decompressing after a stressful week at work can be immensely beneficial.

For some of us, coming to that first ‘real’ session can cause us to freeze on the spot. It happens. Your counsellor may ask; ‘what would you like to talk about?’ or ‘how’s your week been?’ and you sit there with a mind that has gone totally blank. You may have been ruminating all week about where to start, your moment arrives and it’s almost like stage fright. The words disappear. This is normal and doesn’t mean you don’t need or want counselling, or your problems have gone away. It could be that it’s the first time anyone has asked those questions and then given you the time in which you can answer openly - it’s all about you. Your normal week might involve work, go home, take care of loved ones with conversations that can be either functional or involve questions which are often get answered with a standard response, for example; ‘how was your day?’ and you automatically respond with ‘fine’ or ‘just the usual’ even though it wasn’t or do don’t feel your rubbish day is worth talking about.

The simple act of someone asking about your week, the opportunity to say something other than ‘fine’, is an opportunity to talk about your stresses. You may not get on with a colleague that everyone else does. You can brush that under your carpet but how do those feelings manifest themselves? We could be grumpy with those we care about? It is your experience and feelings that are count and are important in the counselling room. Sometimes we feel our experiences aren’t valid or unimportant and the key to counselling is they are. That can be a bit of a shock to the system!

You are allowed to sit there, ponder and respond. This can take a little time, so often we can feel as if we are rushing through life wrapped up in the ‘cult of busy’. Slowing down and thinking ‘actually what has my week been like?’ can help us calm our frazzledness (I’m not sure if this is a real word but it sounds real sensation).

Counselling is your time and it’s not always about the issues you want to talk about, how you are in the moment is equally important. How we are in the moment can often link in with the reason why you are seeking counselling although it may not seem obvious at the time. The suppressed anger that has made you grumpy during the week could be that anger was an emotion that wasn’t ok in your upbringing.

Counselling can be a bit of a jigsaw, sometimes one without much of a picture to work with. Or one with pieces ‘missing’. Time can help us make a start with putting things together but we do need to start putting the pieces on the board. Be kind and take time, there is no rush.

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