This is My Story
I first came across counselling and psychotherapy when I was in my early twenties. I was in my third year of uni when my life came crashing down around me. I was in an abusive relationship, some of my closest friends had ditched me after I came out, and I was struggling to stay on top of my studies.
I felt isolated and overwhelmed and didn’t know how to make things better.
Thankfully a friend suggested I go speak to a counsellor about what was happening. At first, I was reluctant. I didn’t think that talking to someone could make any difference. I was also wary of what she might think about me. However, I decided to take a chance and I’m glad I did.
I had friends I could talk to but they tended to jump straight to judgments and solutions based on their opinions. Being able to talk to someone who was outside of my social circle and therefore neutral meant I could be open about how I was feeling without worrying about the other person’s reactions.
Rather than telling me what I should do she supported me to come up with my own answers as to how I wanted to manage my situation.
It was a profound experience having someone in my corner who listened without judgment and created a safe space for me to be vulnerable and find my own answers. So much so that it inspired me to become a counsellor and psychotherapist myself.
Jump forwards to today and I have been working as a counsellor / psychotherapist for 10 years. I consider it an honour to be able to do the work that I do. It takes courage to be vulnerable and ask for help. There’s a strong societal message that says “You shouldn’t air your dirty laundry in public” and it can be hard to go against this.
When a person decides to place their trust in me and talk about their difficulties I understand just how big a deal this is.
Nobody is perfect and everyone has times of difficulty. It can sometimes be hard to remember this when it looks like everyone else is doing well, and a person may believe they are the only one with problems. This is why I have decided to share my story about what led to me becoming a counsellor.
It’s tempting to gloss over the hard times and appear as if I’m immune to life’s challenges.
However, to do so is to perpetuate a message that problems are something to be ashamed of and a sign of inadequacy. So I proudly share my story in the hope that it helps others to feel safe to talk about their struggles and to seek the help they need.