Life presents us with a series of challenges, some we feel more equipped to deal with than others. These challenges are often opportunities for personal growth and positive change, although some can be painful and the growth process will take place over a long period of time. However, such challenges can come to feel more like crises when we do not feel we have the tools to deal with them effectively. Change, whether of circumstance or personal relationships, is often difficult and testing and can give rise to feelings of anxiety and doubts about our self worth and adequacy.
We all have within ourselves the ability to face these challenges, to make our choices and take responsibility for our chosen paths in life. The reasons that we seek counselling are unique to us, and may not always be obvious or well defined but may manifest themselves as a general ‘dis-ease’ or dissatisfaction with life. Sometimes life becomes too hectic and noisy and we are unable to clearly hear what we are thinking. Often those who are too close to us cannot hear us because they are struggling with their own life challenges.
What Can I Expect?
Counselling offers a safe and confidential environment where you can be heard, both by the counsellor and yourself. Having a counsellor alongside you where you feel respected and not judged can help you to explore your issues. This empowers you to identify the choices available and to make your own decisions.
Occasionally this will involve letting go of what is causing you unease and other times the learning achieved is incorporated into your every day life. This is what is known as personal growth and the counselling process helps you develop coping skills allowing you to feel more in control of your life. Your counsellor will provide support for you during this period of change.
Grief and Bereavement
Grieving is a normal response to loss, whether it is loss of a loved one, loss of health, loss of a job or divorce. However, as a society we find it difficult to talk about death, dying and loss and culturally there remain many taboos around this subject thus making loss an often silent and isolating experience. This alone can make the passage of grieving difficult, as by nature we have the need to tell our story, which allows us to incorporate our experience into our lives and continue our journey.
In cases of bereavement, it is not intended that you should have to ‘move on’ from your loss in any way. It may be hard for family and friends to hear your story as they do not want you to be in pain and they may also be dealing with their own emotions. Also the passage of time can bring certain preconceptions that the grieving process should have ended. However, anniversaries, birthdays and family occasions can heighten our sense of loss and re-trigger the grieving process. It can also seem as though family and friends have ‘moved on’ and expect the same from you.
Counselling allows you the time and space to tell your story and to be heard, to have someone along side you who can bear your pain and is present for you alone. A person-centred counsellor will have distance from your experience but will not be distanced from you and will recognise the need for you to grieve by offering a safe and contained place for the exploration of all of your emotions, without judgment or preconceptions.
This process of telling your story allows your loss to become integrated into your every day life, and for your loved one to be remembered and to remain part of your life, without the pain of your loss being unbearable.
Why Use a BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) Accredited Counsellor?
All accredited members of the The BACP offer you the following assurances:
- diploma or degree level qualification in counselling made up of at least 450 tutor hours of study
- 3 years’ practice prior to accreditation
- at least 150 supervised practice hours following qualification
- a minimum of 1.5 hours supervision per month by of their therapy work
- ongoing professional and personal development, keeping up to date in their field of practice
- monthly updates from the BACP to highlight policy changes and developments in the field of counselling
- professional Civil Liability Insurance
- public access to www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk, offering clear guidance on accessing counselling and psychotherapy
- compliance with BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy
- Public access to the BACP complaints and disciplinary procedures
Counsellors who are accredited with the BACP will have MBACP(Accred) after their name.