You’ve made that giant courageous leap into counselling, ready for things in your life to change. Ready for healing to take place, to move into a better mindset and work on your difficulties. It wasn’t easy to take that step of finally picking up your phone or sending that email to make that initial appointment, but you did it! Your first session was wonderful as you were able to openly tell your story, and release so many emotions you were holding on to. And now you’re a few sessions in and you don’t feel that much has changed.
My counselling isn’t working… is it?
This is a thought that crosses the minds of many. So I want to share with you the reality of counselling…
Progress happens gradually. This can be a tough one to swallow! Unfortunately there’s no magic moment or formula for healing and growth. But in all of it there is growth. There’ll be moments of insight and great awareness, and there will be times of apparent stagnation where a seed is slowly being nurtured. It can feel as if there is no movement, that it’s a waste of time and money, or that it’s just all taking too long. It’s important to remember that it takes time to develop the thought and behavioural patterns, emotional and physiological responses, and relationship schemas we have built from even pre-birth, so it’s going to take time to unpack and shift them for lasting change.
Gone are the days where counsellors sit in a chair with clients laying on a couch next to them, scribbling notes as they strive to be a ‘blank canvas’ for their clients to offload onto. And also gone are the days when the counsellor has all of the answers, ready to ‘fix’ every situation with advice and lists of ‘to-dos’ that will solve the problem. Counselling is a relationship. It will be unique to you, and a true collaboration of resources (yes, you have plenty of internal resources!) and an interactive partnership. It is within the development of this collaboration and partnership that progress and growth will develop. There’ll be sessions where you do most of the talking, and there’ll be sessions where your counsellor will have great input. Sessions that feel cathartic and productive, and others that feel stagnant.
Progress takes time.
Counselling has the power to help you seek clarity in areas of your life, assist you in working through complex emotions, work through and heal from traumas, challenge negative thought patterns that lead to unhelpful behaviours, learn new strategies and tools for coping and relating to others, and nurture your own growth. This takes time.
Progress happens gradually. The line from beginning to end will never be straight, with many ups and also downs, but the journey is where progress is made.
Stick with it, it will be worth it.
My name is Fiona Rogerson and I am an ACA accredited counsellor, and Hypnobirthing (Mongan Method) Practitioner. I work with women and men to overcome emotional and psychological hurdles surrounding conception, pregnancy, postpartum, parenting and identity. I am also available to provide professional development training and workshops to various organisations. I am based south of the river in Perth and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0402 017 425 or via my contact page. Find me on Facebook and Instagram.