Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Empowering qualities in counselling

Coming to therapy, and asking for help, can seem like a big step. People may feel that somehow they should be able to cope or at least muddle through on their own. They should be able to do this and they ought to be able to do that. Sometimes though the 'shoulds' and 'oughts' aren't enough - that's just not how you feel.


The counselling room in Stroud, Gloucestershire
The counselling room in Stroud, Gloucestershire
Having a space to talk about what bothers you and to reflect on your concerns can in itself be helpful. This is a place where it is okay to talk about you and how you feel. That can be a relief. We are not generally used to having that space just for ourselves. It's a space where you can talk and that means also a space where you are listened to. What you say is heard and considered.

This therapeutic space can also be containing. To come along each week, and talk for a set amount of time, and then stop, can help contain difficult thoughts, anxieties, and painful feelings.Talking in therapy and learning to contain these thoughts and feelings can help us gain a healthy control of them. This can be an empowering experience.

I feel that empowerment is an important concept in therapy. It has sometimes been said that counselling or therapy can create a dependency. However I feel that effective counselling does the opposite. It empowers people by helping them gain more understanding of themselves and in attaining a more healthy control of their emotional life. In that way they may be better equipped to deal with any difficulties, not only in the present, but in the future too.

Lin Travis Counselling Services