Healing not fixing: one of the (many) reasons why I love my job
It is a huge privilege to sit with people in their darkest times. To bear witness to pain that they may have kept inside for years. Perhaps they have shut things down and pushed away thoughts and feelings that have been swirling relentlessly.
As a counsellor, I am on a journey with my clients, and there for them when they bring the dark outside. This is at the client's pace: people need to feel safe and trust both me and themselves to explore things in a way that feel right for them. Together we explore and shine a light, being curious about what is going on for the client. Somehow things can seem easier and less scary when they are said out loud. The thoughts and feelings are given words and sounds which are now out in the room and shared with another person. Perhaps when our difficult stuff is really seen, heard and held by someone with kindness and compassion, it loses some of its power over us.
That someone isn't part of the client's life, doesn't judge, or suggest, or try to fix things. Someone for whom confidentiality is paramount. This helps to provide a safe space for a relationship that is different to those with friends or family. It can be a time to process feelings that may have been buried deep or felt overwhelming.
I wonder if much of the process of coming for counselling is about turning towards thoughts, feelings and experiences that are difficult. We can spend a lot of energy pushing hard things away, numbing ourselves in various ways, or distracting and keeping busy so that we don't have to go there. Perhaps being able to be vulnerable and be with what is difficult can allow the innate sense of healing, which I believe we all have, to begin to work its magic.
Being able to sit with and really see people as they explore what is causing them pain, is to know that we are all capable of healing and that we have choices about how we move forward. Sometimes we just need time, space and a therapeutic relationship to help us to explore the choices. Even in the darkest times, and through the most difficult of experiences, if we can be brave and shine a light into the darkness, we are all capable of healing and change.
If this resonates with you, please get in touch to explore whether counselling might help you.