More than thirty years ago I was quite apprehensive about ‘counselling’. After all, what did I know that could be of any help to someone? I felt pressure to have solutions and it was intimidating…..
I learned that there are seldom quick fixes or easy answers. Those who gave me the privilege of sharing their lives and vulnerabilities taught me that what they most appreciated was being accepted, listened to, not judged or shamed, respected and validated. No one likes feeling out of control or to be heaped with guilt and blame. And more often than not, it’s during the course of conversation that insight emerges, sometimes quite unanticipated but always with relief. “You mean I’m not a fool to think like this, or to be confused?”
Often in our first meeting I will merely ask you to tell me about yourself. You set the pace and choose where you want to begin. You share whatever is comfortable to share and you are never pressured to discuss what you’d rather keep private while trust is built. Some counsellors are quite distant. I believe that we are all fallible human beings, each one with a story to tell. In the course of our conversation I may well contribute some of my journey, good, bad, and ugly, to help build trust through transparency. Many times we find that after a while we find ourselves sharing details we never dreamed we’d share with anyone else… and we discover we’re not alone. When the monsters come into the light their power shrinks rapidly.