How will I know if it’s helping?

Counselling is very much a personal process.

You may experience an immediate sense of relief as you talk out things you have been carrying ‘bottled up’ for whatever reason. You may feel lighter after a session.

On the other hand, counselling may stir up difficult issues or insights you have previously buried (precisely because they are difficult). In the short term, if a session leaves you feeling more fragile, be kind to yourself over the next 24 hours.

Just as it can be painful, but necessary, to treat a wound to bring about healing, so in counselling things may feel worse before they get better. It can be tempting to stop counselling straightaway when this happens, but it is better to come back and talk through how you are feeling. Both counsellor and client need to take such feelings into account. It may be, for example, that the work needs to go at a gentler pace.

Longer term, counselling may bring various benefits:

  • A clearer understanding of yourself
  • A capacity to manage situations that felt overwhelming or perplexing
  • A fresh focus on where you want to do things differently
  • An ability to put some new strategies into practice

Other changes less easy to pin down, but no less real, may include:

  • A deeper sense of well-being
  • Greater peace of mind about what cannot be changed
  • Increased self-worth
  • Renewed confidence in your abilities

Although such changes are generally noticed first by others, eventually we should feel the benefit ourselves.

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  • About Julia


    From writing stories for my younger brother, to penning poems for the School Magazine and filling a growing pile of personal journals, the written word has always been part of my life’s journey.

    I started out as an English Teacher and subsequently retrained as a Counsellor. I have counselled in a GP Surgery and worked with various Employee Assistance Schemes and Charitable Trusts alongside seeing private clients.

    Although I have done some freelance journalism and written four non-fiction books, creative writing has become my main focus in recent years.

    My poems have appeared online on sites including Amaryllis, Silver Birch Press, Clear Poetry, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, Riggwelter and Ink,Sweat and Tears. I have been published in Curlew and Bucks Mill Magazine, and anthologised in Our Hearts Still Sing. My first poetry collection, Chester City Walls, came out in 2015.

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