Sooo, here is my first ever blog. In January I set up my own private practice. There was such a mixture of emotions. It felt like a big investment, it was scary and felt like a massive leap. But there was also the excitement at the ability to work the way I know I want to work with my clients. No limitations on sessions, no weekly 'assessments'. Having that autonomy is so important to me. I am very passionate about being a counsellor. It is such a privilege to be able to help people invest in themselves. For my client to drop their barriers, share their soul with me and allow me to connect with them is quite literally the best job in the world.
But then Covid struck. Lockdown kicked in. People didn't want to go out nor were they able to. My clients moved online. I was nervous about this move - what will the connection be like? Will I be able to sense my clients mood if we are not in the same room? Actually I needn't have worried. Before too long, we all got hooked on Zoom (I can't think of Zoom without thinking about that song...). We adapted. And it worked. I have had some amazing sessions with my clients. Every now and then there may be a 'lag' but this is not as commonplace as I thought it would be.
So while I have been working with clients, I haven't been as busy as I would like to have been. I have been filling my time, doing training courses and keeping up to date with the world of counselling. I have completed god knows how many courses on online therapy - I learned about disinhibition! I had never heard of this - it is when you are not in the same room, have a feeling of being anonymous. Then oversharing, feeling vulnerable and then pulling up the defence mechanisms.
I have also been doing the most amazing training on complex trauma - this is run by one of the international leading experts on trauma, Janina Fisher. It has been a course I have totally immersed myself in and it has been a real journey, where I have had to focus on my own stuff too which can be tricky to navigate! One of the things that has astounded me is how Janina can sit delivering the same session for 4 hours without once having to go to the loo!
Anyway, I feel like I am babbling on. I have been pondering on the impact of Covid on my little fledgling of a business. We had lockdown, we came out of lockdown. We had easing of rules, we had tightening of rules. No one seemed to have a bloody clue what was going on - we are currently in day two of being in the Tier 2. So whilst I have been thinking about my business, I have been reading a book called Grow Your Private Practice by Jane Travis. It is such a good book but one of the things I have taken from it, is that it is important that I play my part in changing the way people view counselling.
Many people feel that a counsellor is either an old middle class lady wearing twin set and pearls or it is a hippy flower power person. I am neither of those. I am just a normal person, a mum who is down to earth, lets out the odd swear word and still laughs at toilet humour. Many people think that counselling is a serious business with a stern person offering advice. Of course it is a serious business - I take the needs of my clients really seriously. But the most important thing is that there are two humans connecting on a deeper level. I never give advice - it isn't my job. It is my job to guide my client to find the answers themselves. I have cried with clients. I have emotionally held clients when they are at their lowest ebb. I have laughed with clients - yes, laughed, sometimes while we both have tears rolling down our faces. Because this is what it is all about. Connection. Me understanding my client. Really understanding my client. Seeing my client for everything they are and holding them unconditionally with no judgement. I have sworn with my clients more times than I care to remember.
And this is what counselling is. This is why I love it. This is why I am so passionate about it. And this is the reason for my blog. I have today rediscovered my love for writing. Not writing in a corporate way, but writing as me, for who I am. As a counsellor I have to be genuine. I cannot put a front on with my clients, it wouldn't work. How can you connect to someone who isn't themselves? So for this blog I am writing as me. I am going to try and write in my own way, what counselling is about. I am not going to talk about clients - that is an absolute no go, confidentiality is paramount. But I am going to try and talk about what counselling is. So that people understand it isn't scary. So that people can reach out for support and knowing that they can get help to make things better for them.
Please bear with me as this is my first time as a 'blogger' and I am a little nervous! I am not really sure how it works so hopefully you will see my growth (no puns please due to the fact I am 5ft nothing) over the coming weeks and months.
If anything resonates with you, makes you think or you have a question, please let me know - I am always happy to speak to you and answer your questions where I can.
Over and out (is that acceptable on a blog?!)