Before being accepted onto my counselling degree, I had one of the toughest, emotional interviews of my life. I cannot remember the questions, but the nature of them meant I had to share and be honest about my life experiences. I do remember the emotion I felt and my fear of being rejected. Thankfully I was offered a place on the course. The relief was overwhelming. I cried, I sobbed in fact. At the time, I did not understand where that emotion came from. Now I get it – I was accepted for who I was. Acceptance for simply being yourself is a powerful experience.
My course was a tough but rewarding voyage of self-discovery facilitated by lecturers and supervisors who epitomised the core conditions of genuineness, acceptance, and empathy
I always knew it was important to be able to talk to someone about the stuff of life. It was not until I began my journey as a counsellor could I really appreciate the unarguable necessity to be truly heard. To be able to sit with a client, offering a space and time where they ‘feel’ heard, and be who they are without judgement, is an honour beyond words. To be in a position where a client can trust me with their deepest fears is indeed a privilege. Part of my learning journey was engaging in my own therapy working through my own daemons and fears. I learned to know, love, and accept myself as an imperfect human being aiming to be the best version of myself as I could. There is a great sense of contentment to know I do not have to be perfect.
Sometimes our life can be complicated or traumatic. It might be rejection and disregard have been part of your life experience. Counselling is a step toward change.
I accept each client for who they are and am inspired by their strength and resilience as they explore their life experiences, and discover their potential to change, and to simply ‘be’. As a person-centred counsellor, it is not my job to ‘fix’ a client’s mental health wellbeing. It is my job to be with each client, holding a torchlight as they grow to understand their true self and their own potential for change, and their journey of self-acceptance. Yes, I will challenge, I will seek to understand, but always with empathy, and without judgement. Each session in the counselling room is a journey toward light, to becoming the person we wish to be and accepting oneself. Self acceptance is a new beginning and a continuum of change.