For the majority of counsellors, the decision to take the long educational, experiential and in many ways emotional journey in to the counselling profession is founded in the need, yes that’s right, not just a want, but an innate urge to help and support others.
Counselling we know, is not just for those people in crisis but, also our fellow humans who at times either find themselves lacking, wish to develop themselves in a particular direction or those of us who find life is throwing one too many curve balls our way and we could really do with a little space to take stock, regroup and get back on the emotional rollercoaster ride of life. Counselling offers an ideal opportunity to do just that.
Thats not to say that counselling is a quick fix. We know all too well that its not. For a short while you can be left feeling a little broken before you begin to make the progress you would hope for. But ultimately it works, counselling helps if you let it.
The counselling professions offer us a rewarding career and one that may often see us dividing our work time between different organisations or being an independent practitioner. This can be a lonely way to practice at times and I have heard counsellors say, that at those times they feel that they speak a different language from people in other professions and that the view from the ‘counselling couch’ can be very different and a difficult one to understand.
The truth of it is ‘people need people’ and as counsellors we are no different.
Having worked with and trained counsellors over the years, the one resounding thought or feeling that I have heard time and time again, is how valuable it is to converse with our peers; sharing our thoughts and experiences. To have an opportunity to bounce ideas off one another. To be enthused by our collective and individual thoughts and goals. To support each other with compassion and understanding. To share in our vocation with like minded people as the profession moves forward and develops.
Victoria and I have been friends for many years, in truth it’s been over two decades – ouch doesn’t that sound like a long time! Our lives have mirrored each other in many ways, both personally and professionally, although Victoria worked in the main with adults and older people and myself with predominantly young people and children, or with other professionals supporting those groups. Over the years, we had many ideas of how to create and develop a cohesive, thriving, progressive counselling community. Exploring the possibilities of how it could work, how it should look and how it would be accessed.
From those thoughts and conversations, came the concept of the Counsellors Cafe. Born out of the need and want to find our “tribe”. To be a part of something bigger than just ourselves. a counselling community that we create, a place to support and be supported, to share our voice and ultimately improve better mental health for all.
So, how do we do this?
Well, as mentioned, we had many ideas of how best to create and facilitate the idea of a counselling community and after much discussion and consultation the following themes emerged:
a magazine to give everyone the opportunity to share a personal and collective voice.
a forum; a safe accessible space to start the conversation and find support.
networking/social events, to ‘take time out’ together, gain support and share knowledge and experience
Going forward, we have many ideas that we would like to explore and develop with you, however ultimately it is our aim to develop a nationwide network of practitioners, working together, to support, challenge, raise awareness, share knowledge and develop our profession with compassion and integrity.
So what’s next I hear you say, well that my friends, is up to you……what better setting to experience this cohesion than the familiar setting of a cafe. The Counsellors Cafe.