Counselling/Psychotherapy brings up many different feelings for people; some may feel that asking for help in this way is an admission of weakness or that they don't have any friends or family of their own to turn to. Sometimes for those of us that like to help others and maybe don't look after ourselves as well as we might, counselling is hard to think about because it feels self indulgent and it may be frightening to feel the spotlight will be on you!
Sometimes you might feel that you are reacting to people in a way that causes difficulties, maybe out of proportion to what is happening. Counselling should be a place where this can be explored safely so that you can understand yourself better and think about what you might want to change.
It can feel like this contemplation of your "self" may lead to terrible thoughts of blame or guilt and these are difficult feelings, but remember it is sometimes easier to change yourself than change the world or other people! Sometimes changing our own behaviour can have an unexpected effect on the people around us.
Although counselling and psychotherapy are complex subjects which can be explored in great depth,there are also some quite simple ideas which can help, for example experience is often seen as a purely useful thing which helps us make good decisions, but sometimes using our instinct or gut reactions can also be very helpful. So how do we get the best out of these seemingly contradicting abilities we all have? We need thinking and feeling to work together in balance to help us live and work in harmony with the world and those around us. Although we rightly see experience as something useful sometimes what we "learn" can lead us to make assumptions about people or ourselves that are wrong, for example " I always meet people that let me down" - these things can become a self- fulfilling prophesy and we are in danger of sabotaging ourselves
There are many different approaches to counselling and of course people including counsellors are all different which is reflected in the way we work, however most of us agree that being interested in and listening to people is very important.
My training has mainly been in what is called the psychodynamic approach, which means literally psycho=mind, and dynamic=movement ( "psycho" has of course a darker feel as an abbreviation for psychopath). Psychodynamic refers to the idea that the way we feel and think is not fixed or static, rather it is active and can therefore change.Our "self" is complicated, made up of a combination of past experiences, our genes and the ongoing effects of the outside world and our interaction with people in our world.