“What’s in it for me?”

As part of setting up our private Counselling Practice in Newcastle-under-Lyme, I have been out and about dipping my toe into the world of networking. Many thanks to WiRE  and BizMums!

During these meetings you have around about 90 seconds to introduce yourself and your business. A challenge, let me tell you! I think I said something along the lines of:

“My name is Neroli and I run a private counselling practice in the area. Counselling is not just there for the big events in life, we can also help to keep things running smoothly day to day… a bit like calling the AA for a complete car meltdown versus checking and servicing your car regularly…”

During group discussions these hard working business-savvy professionals often asked questions such as “Why should I come to Counselling?”, “Why would I need a Counsellor?”, “Basically what’s in it for me?”, “What would I get out of my session?” and “What would I get for my money?”.

I have been pondering and reflecting for a while since then. Each client is unique, as is each counsellor, so the dynamic, the mix, the chemistry is doubly unique as it were. Each individual will get different things out of each session that they attend. It’s extremely hard to pin down, to quantify, to explain.

So I thought that I would share some thoughts about my own counselling session today. I went to see my own counsellor: it is part of the BACP best practice guidelines for people who are counselling others to be extra vigilant about “self care” and to look after their own mental wellbeing. On a personal note I like the way that it gives me a reality check by putting me in the client role.

What did I get out of my session? “What did I get for my time and money?”

  • I received one-to-one attention.
  • I received a trained professional’s full, undivided attention, in a safe confidential environment with no interruptions.
  • I was able to set the agenda, I was in control of what went on and what was discussed, it was up to me.
  • I received a friendly warm and understanding environment where I felt at home and able to discuss some very raw emotions.
  • I was able to discuss some things that felt selfish, self-absorbed, possibly even self-pitying.
  • I was able to process my own reactions to things that I had heard or that had been said to me.
  • I was able to stop for a moment and look at events, people and stories in my life.
  • I was able to sift through what on earth was going on in my own head.
  • I was able to have a big sort out: pretend my head is a workstation in an office: I cleared away the junk mail, the rubbish, the old receipts for things I no longer own. I filed things away, I archived others. I polished off a few photo frames and left them where I could see them.

I came out of my session extremely tired and headachy but refreshed and more settled. But that’s just me with my counsellor today… What my next session will hold I don’t know yet… we’ve yet to see…

I hope that this might help give you a snapshot idea of what it is that I do? So, I can either be the AA and be there for you to call upon when things get too much and go wrong, but I can also be there for regular check-ins and top-ups to try and make the going a bit more smooth on this roller coater that we call daily life…