Maybe my issues aren’t “bad enough”

Many clients worry that they are not “bad” enough or “poorly” enough to come to counselling sessions. Often in sessions they say things like, “I bet you deal with some really bad situations, and I’m here whining on about my little world.” Some clients, having looked at my LinkedIn profile, see that I work with Embrace CVOC and think that they should stop bothering me so that I can get on with my so called “real” cases….

My answer is always the same to one and all: if its bothering you, then it’s important.

Back in August I was reading a book (not a counselling book) and I tweeted this quote from it:

“Not important at the moment” “It is to you. I’m sorry”

We all experience life very differently, we all have very different histories, backgrounds and experiences. We all currently have very different circumstances and lives and we all hope for very different things for the future. What keeps me going might not even register on your radar.

For example: this morning both the BACP It’s Good To Talk and the Counselling Directory web sites have issues. One has lost my profile and one is very slow responding. You might think “M’eh? And? So?” But for me this means that I am losing possible referrals as we speak: clients reaching out for help will not see my profiles and won’t seek support from me. Both worrying for the clients, and I will lose out on possible income and my little family will have to tighten its collective belt. So, this possibly small thing (as you might see it) is causing a ripple effect through my day.

In person-centred counselling sessions, client and counsellor meet. Your counsellor will attempt to accept the invite into your world. A good counsellor will put aside judgement and enter your reality, they will walk beside you and be there whilst you try to unravel and explore these feelings that have persisted enough that you have taken the serious and very brave step of entering the counselling space. I always say to clients: it’s important enough to bring you here today so let’s talk about it.

Obviously as a counsellor I do deal with all sorts of clients, and all sorts of client issues. Personally, I would prefer that you come to me as soon as you are worried or uncomfortable, so that we can together do some preventative work, and give you the tools to prevent things from getting awfully messy.

If you think of my clients as cars obviously I can be the AA and assist you when the engine fell out or exploded. But it would be safer for you if you come in and get stuff checked out when the warning light first comes on, or you hear that small clunk*. But sometimes life gets in the way, and you turn up the radio and ignore the issue… but often times the issues only persists and in time may even get worse and in the end be way worse than if you’d have come in when it was an irritating kind of little thingy wotsit.

So basically please don’t fret: come in and see me. We’ll explore together and see what we can do to make life more bearable.

Mind how you go

Neroli's signature


* My local garage has been ‘counselling’ my car for a small, persistent ‘clunk’ for over a year. They’ve now repaired a possibly serious fault, but it still clunks. I’ve learned to live with it as a side-effect of it getting older, and treat it accordingly!

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