Support from Your Space Today
SUPPORT verb “to agree with and give encouragement to someone… because you want him or her, to succeed.”
Support for the Client
Whether this is the first time that you are engaging in counselling or you are returning, one area that I personally feel is really important during this time is support.
When we first meet, whether you are having the free initial 20 minute session or the full 50 minute session, I always allow time for us to look at the impact counselling may have on You and how support may look like, for You.
At this point I would like to introduce the term ‘self-care’ (please refrain from confusing this with the word ‘self-ish’).
Self-care is about what You may need in order for You to take care of yourself, before, during and after counselling. You have decided to take the step and have counselling, which I believe is a great investment to yourself, so why not take time to see what You may need to have in place to assist You with this? Self-care can sometimes be a new concept to you, embrace it, because you’re worth it. Let’s break this down further…
Before your counselling session: think about dinner, can it be an easy option tonight? Allow yourself time to get to your session, allow yourself time to breathe and have a moment before your session, switch off your phone, park the 101 things on your to do list, they can wait 50 minutes this is your time and Your Space for You.
During your counselling session: this time is all yours.
After the counselling session: Remember this is still all about You – It could be that when You drive away after a session You play a piece of music that You find calming or uplifting, have a bath or go for a walk to process what came up for you in the session today? When you walk through the door You may want to consider what You need from your partner or family member(s), it could be a hug or for them to allow You to have half an hour for You to be able to just ‘be’.
I also feel it can be helpful to consider the following points, if people close to You are aware that You are having counselling:
- Would You like them to ask You how the counselling session went?
- Would You prefer not to talk about your counselling session and would like them to understand this? (It may be that at a later time You may want to talk about it – it’s your choice).
- Would You like them to say if they have noticed changes about yourself?
- Would You like them to wait to be asked if they have notice changes about yourself?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself and they can change throughout your counselling time, because it is Your Space, your time and it is all about You.
Support for the Families of the Client
When someone is attending counselling this can be a difficult time for You too. Someone who You care for very much is now going to see someone for counselling, You may find that you are berating yourself, as to why You couldn’t help them.
I also believe asking yourself what might You need during this time? This could feel like an odd question as it isn’t you that’s having the counselling, but I do feel it is an important question.
What support do you have? Could it be useful for You to seek some counselling to share your concerns about how this may feel for You. It may be that what your loved one’s experiencing is causing you upset or distress, as you feel that You could have done something differently, or you feel helpless. Engaging in counselling yourself, could give You the space to explore the effect of your how your loved ones difficulties is impacting on You.
Confidentiality in counselling is paramount, building trust with their counsellor enables the client to open up and share their difficulties. For someone who is trying to support the person attending counselling, this can be really difficult to sit with. The “not knowing’ what is happening in the sessions, (especially if you are paying or it is your child attending counselling), but I ask You to trust in the process, give your loved one the space that they need (and indeed the space that You may need).
It may be the child wants you just to be Mum and not their counsellor. The same goes for a partner, just to ‘be’ there for them and nothing more, well maybe to fetch a cup of tea and chocolate biscuit!
If you still have any questions about counselling or how to support someone having counselling, please do contact me, I would be happy to supportYou too!
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Your Space Today is a private counselling service providing a confidential, supportive and safe place to talk.