Counselling – Will it make Me feel Worse?

Counselling is a huge thing for most people. Most people never imagine themselves going to see a Counsellor, given the stigma still attached to seeking help. Most of the clients who come to see me are people that have been struggling for some time. They have often gotten to the point where they are unable to continue with how things are.

Can being self-aware be a bad thing?

One of the benefits of counselling is an increase in your self-awareness. This can also be tricky to navigate as you will learn things that you don’t like about yourself. Counselling is often about bringing out those parts of yourself that you want to ignore, supress or try and deny in other ways.

What does the Johari window have to do with counselling?

You may have heard of the Johari Window – this concept was created in 1955 by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham and is used in counselling to show how self-awareness changes as you get to learn the hidden parts of yourself.
 
As a Counsellor I may give you feedback about things I notice which you might not be aware of and this will increase your open side and lessen your blind side. You may have something that you have never told anyone that, something that is secret to you and you may choose to share this which will lessen your secret side and again increase your open side. Together we will work to explore your hidden side so that you get a better understanding of yourself which can help you do things differently and make changes in your life .

“All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.” Karen Blixen

Counsellling offers a space for you to say whatever you want – which is rare in most people’s lives. There is such power sitting in front of someone and telling your story out loud. Even if you knew before that things were bad the act of saying this confirms the reality of your situation which can often make you feel worse at first. It can be difficult to realise things about yourself and your life and this is why counsellors’ receive such thorough training in how to help you manage this without becoming completely overwhelmed.

What if I I’m worried to show my feelings?

You might worry that by coming to counselling and talking aloud your thoughts and feelings that this will mean you get stuck in these feelings. Perhaps you think it’s easier to pretend that everything is OK. Maybe you hate crying because you feel that if you cry you might never stop. You might think crying is a sign of weakness.
You probably never let yourself have space to allow those sad feelings to emerge – counselling gives you an opportunity to do this. People are often surprised when they cry in counselling and you may find yourself in touch with those feelings more than you expected or wanted to be! You may even learn to appreciate being able to feel all your feelings.

How can I manage when I feel bad after a counselling session?

You may find temporarily that you feel worse at some points during counselling but as we work together to re-integrate these parts of yourself this will lessen. If you are really struggling it’s important to talk to your Counsellor about this in the session so they can work with you and help you to come up with self-care strategies. If the counselling session has been a particularly difficult one I will always talk to you about how you are going to take care of yourself, after the session, and we will agree a plan to help you manage in between counselling appointments.
I offer a FREE 30 minute face-to-face consultation you can book here.