Counselling is often described as Talking Therapy. It may be talking therapy to a point but it is more than just talk or being listened to. It is a unique experience and your own experience will be based on what you bring to the therapy space – as well as what I bring.
As a general rule, I believe counselling works because it provides you with the space and opportunity to express yourself openly about how you feel. This is particularly important when it is about feelings which usually cause you to fear being judged or rejected. Expressing all emotions is important and essential to our mental and physical health.
There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ emotions. They are all equally valid. However, you can be led to believe from an early age that it is wrong to have or feel strong thoughts, emotions or feelings. This means you may have developed a tendency to keep your thoughts, emotions and feelings closed off, even from friends and family. The problem with doing this is that you tend to forget or deny what makes you feel happy or sad and therefore you no longer have the capacity to feel good any more. You may find it difficult to avoid getting into situations or circumstances which make you angry or upset.
Contrary to what you might hope, ‘bad’ feelings do not go away just because you do not talk about them or try to ignore them – in fact they get worse. If you continuously suppress what you feel your moods are likely to become a walking ‘time bomb’. This may lead to angry outbursts, depression, alcohol/substance abuse, reckless or compulsive behaviour, etc. If you continuously suppress your feelings they begin to manifest themselves physically in your body in various ways. Often, when we get more control over our emotional health, our physical health also improves.
Through counselling, you can learn how to manage your feelings, emotions and thoughts more healthily and feel less weighed down or triggered by them.
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