Good Evening Munchkins!
Today I want to speak to you guys about My Counselling Experience, which I don’t think I’ve ever actually mentioned on this blog before. I don’t talk about this very much so count yourselves lucky that I’m in a chatty mood today! I’ve got a brief idea of what I’m going to include but, as always, if I miss anything out you can ask me about it in the comments below. It’s these types of blog posts I want to make as detailed and coherent as possible so please don’t be shy!
So I think I started going to my school counsellor in October last year, maybe September. My Mum wanted me to go but I think I had been thinking about it myself as well. This was at a time where I was very low and the reality of last summer was fully hitting me and did so at full speed (when my parents split up due to my Mum’s affair, my Mum coming out, me having a boyfriend and then just as quickly not having a boyfriend, feeling alone, feeling unloved, feeling ignored, feeling unwanted etc.). I think it was before I started self-harming but I was thinking about it and I was, on top of that, thinking a lot about death. Some of my friends had gone to him for their own problems and I’d spoken and seen him in school before so I wasn’t too shy with him and one day I just plucked up the courage and asked him for an appointment and I got one the next day.
I decided to go to my school counsellor instead of one referred by my GP for the pure reason that it was easier for me to get to. If I was having a down day I could go see him for an hour there and then and just for a bit of daily support which I don’t think I would feel from one who I only got to see once a week in a strict, planned routine. Also, as I previously mentioned, some of my friends had gone to him and said that he did help with their issues and because I’d seen him around school I’d broken my anxiety barrier with him, if you will. I think meeting a completely new human and having to unload all my problems onto him/her would’ve created another problem for me.
I went to counselling with the intention of just ranting about everything and letting everything go to an unbiased character. I did get that as well as little bits of advice. For me, personally, I found this quite effective, but sometimes if I went to have a bit of a go about my Step-Mum (for example) it would just make me even angrier for when I next saw her, which wasn’t really fair on her. I’m a massive talker so an hour just blurting everything out did allow me to walk home with a little less weight on my shoulders and reassure me that I wasn’t entirely alone. I can’t really remember much of the advice he gave me (I think I ignored most of it and prepared my next rant!) but I do remember even the small amount of strength I felt knowing I had some support, even if it was only between 8:30am and 3:00pm. I think this in itself helped me a lot.
There was a point where I actually stopped going to counselling, I think it was after 6 or 7 weeks. This was when I hit my lowest point and I had lost motivation to do anything; even getting up for school was difficult (on a mental barrier level as oppose to a physical level which I think most people expect from teenagers). Just being able to go home where I could look forward to going to bed (because I didn’t want to do anything) or even look forward to self-harming became my goal for the day so I wasn’t staying an extra hour. I think I also ran out of things to talk about because I didn’t want to talk (a huge change from the last paragraph and the present, I’m sure you can see!) and I wasn’t actually doing anything worth talking about. I also felt I was wasting his time because everything on the outside (in my head) must’ve looked so perfect but actually in my head and in the way I viewed things, everything was wrong. This thought tracking only made it worse because I felt I had no justification for anything. Anyway, I stopped going to counselling and gradually I got myself better (proof there is an end to the pain!).
I don’t have consistent sessions now because commitment still scares me a lot (as in having to be somewhere on a certain day at a certain time every week) but I do have one-off sessions when I ask for them and when they suit me and when I want them. These are normally when I’m angry about something or I want to unload about something or when I just want a general catch up. I’m currently writing this in the summer holidays but I am planning on speaking to him some more when I go back. He has helped a lot more (or that I can see) now that I have a much more general and open view to everything, but that’s probably down to me and how I receive things. I have told him a lot of things over this past nearly a year so I do turn to him for a lot more now than I ever thought I would. He knows things about a lot of my family that I don’t think I should know as well, because I tend to go off on a tangent a lot (again, as I’m sure you can notice!). There are still a few things I haven’t told him but have told the other people around me but that’s just because of a block I have and that’s something I really do need to get over on my own.
To conclude, I don’t regret having counselling at all and, at points, I really enjoyed knowing that I could turn to this complete outsider about everything. I think if you struggle talking (which I clearly don’t!), they will help get everything out from you that you want them to know but they won’t pressure you into saying or doing anything (I also like this feature very much). Whether it’s long or short-term, I feel like counselling should be seen as a much more helpful and a solid source of remedy (I can’t promise full treatment) rather than a last thought or for those who are ‘beyond any other help’.
And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – let me know if this has actually helped you in some way! If you have received counselling let me know what you thought of your experience because I know they can be very mixed (both of these questions are if you want to, by the way, I know it can be very personal).
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Tuesday,