When you think about therapy, the main thing that will probably come to mind is sadness and that it will be a time when you only share bad experiences that have happened to you, which can be partly what therapy is but it’s not the only thing it’s about.
Before I knew what therapy was I completely thought it’s not me for me, I don’t want to sit and talk about my childhood and be told everything that has happened to me in life was because of my parents’ divorce. I first attended therapy a couple of years ago because of a car accident, apprehensive of what it would bring and the other subjects that might be brought up. I almost had the attitude that I went to therapy to be fixed and I was after a quick fix and I wanted someone to do it for me.
What I soon realised is that a therapist isn’t there to ‘fix’ you or to tell you what to do, which is what some can expect walking into therapy (like I did) they are there to listen to you and walk alongside you in your journey, rather than lead you because the only person who can make the changes you want in life are you. It took me some time to get my head around that, therapy was never spoken about when I was younger, and it was an unspoken subject so I didn’t know what it was and what to expect. I remember it being mentioned at school that there was a school counsellor, but it was never encouraged and mental wellbeing wasn’t advertised as a positive.
Since I have been studying counselling the last few months and have attended various therapists over the last few years I now have a better understanding of what therapy is and what it is not. There will be times of sadness and maybe even tears in the therapy room but there will also be those amazing moments when you have laughs in the therapy room and that makes it all worthwhile.
I love being a student and learning about counselling, its eye opening to experience both sides of the room, I find it fascinating how much we can tell about a person through body language and we can portray what we are feeling through our own body language. I still have a long journey ahead before I will be trained as a counsellor, it’s scary, exciting, nerve-racking and interesting all at once but nothing amazing ever comes from comfort zones.
I believe the core of therapy is the relationship between counsellor and client, you got to be able to feel comfortable talking and opening up to them, and personally a sense of humour is top of my list, it can be a make or break thing for me, I have experienced a couple of counsellors that have been a bit on the serious side and it hasn’t worked, like with any relationship, it’s going to take time to get the right fit. It may take a couple of first visits to find a good working relationship, but it’s a great chance to ask questions and see how it feels. I have just started therapy again with a new counsellor and found a great fit, counselling is a much more positive experience for me now and laughs along the way help!
Sophie Collumbell is a regular writer for the Counsellors Café Magazine. In Sophie's words: "I don’t take life too seriously, always joking and making people laugh! Family and friends mean the world to me, and my little cat tiggs! Music is my life, I spend most time with my headphones on listening to anything and everything, I believe ‘When words fail music speaks’! I am more creative than anything, I love writing and knowing that hopefully, writing my struggles can help other people is just the best feeling ever! I cannot wait for the future so I can train to be a counsellor and hopefully help someone the way my counsellor has helped me!'