Perhaps you’ve heard this statement before regarding chiropractic or massage care, or when beginning a new medication. Did you know that this can also be true of counselling? Well, it is.
After their first session, our clients often tell us that they feel heard, validated, their experiences honoured or normalized and their fears calmed. This is typically because we’ve gathered some information and established some goals to work towards in our sessions. As our work begins to unfold, however, our clients report feeling overwhelmed and raw. This is normal. Your body’s defence system has been doing it’s job really well – keeping your vulnerabilities guarded and numbed. In counselling, we begin to dig around some of those injuries and wounds that have been so well protected and that can be painful. We never poke and prod where we are not welcome, but our clients are sometimes surprised by the emotions that come up or the memories that are awakened. We are here to help with those experiences and will be by your side as you navigate, process and make sense of your past experiences. wounds and traumas.
These same experiences occur in our work with couples, but can be abut more complex. Couples counselling can be more challenging than individual counselling because you are working alongside your partner. Our partners have a unique ability to rub up against our wounds, or they may be the very cause of the wounds. Each couples session will build upon the next as emotional understanding is deepened and needs are expressed. Our couples find that committing to attending several sessions together in the beginning can be an effective way of allowing the counselling process to unfold.
It can be tempting to “throw in the towel” when you begin to feel overwhelmed by the work that counselling can require. Our hope is that our clients don’t just feel “better” after counselling, but that they have gained more self-awareness and self-compassion, an ability to shift perspective and take control of the frustrating areas of their lives. This is never an easy task – but we’re here with you! You are not alone.