I’ve been working as a counsellor for so long that being privy to people’s secrets almost seems normal to me. When I get a new client phoning up and asking me what goes on in a counselling session, it reminds me how alien a counselling session can be to a first-timer and I thought it would be a good idea to mention a little about what goes on in a counselling session.
I like to make clients feel at home by offering them a drink (now that isn’t possible unfortunately due to Covid and lockdown). Many counsellors don’t do this and some even frown upon it but in my opinion it is just part of interacting with someone and putting them at ease. After all, the therapeutic relationship is an important part of the counselling process. Every counsellor works differently and finding the right counsellor can be like looking for a comfy shoe that fits. Some counsellors will understand you and relate to you more easily than others – this is a trial and error process.
Everything we discuss is confidential – the only exceptions to this are child protection issues or possible harm to others. As a result , many clients admit to secrets that no one else knows. A neutral counsellor is a safe bet as they promise confidentiality and it isn’t their job to judge.
Common confessions during counselling
1) I am having an affair
This is quite common and I have noticed that people have affairs for all sorts of reasons. They may be bored, they might feel neglected or they may just want to try something new. Some enjoy affairs for the ego boost. It’s rare though that married people end their marriages and leave but it has happened.
2) I am being abused by my partner
I have had men and women confess to being abused – physically and/or emotionally. The number of people suffering silently at home is incredibly worrying and I believe that statistics only report the tip of the iceberg. Domestic abuse has increased dramatically since the Corona Virus emerged. It’s a very sad state of affairs. One call relating to domestic abuse was made to police every 30 seconds in the first seven weeks of lockdown in the UK.
Domestic abuse – whether it be physical, mental or emotional (or all three) is a growing epidemic and the resources to deal with this growing problem just aren’t sufficient as the numbers grow on a constant basis.
3) I suffer from depression
The stigma of mental health issues, one of them being depression still looms large and many try to function normally in daily life and not let others know. Many feel they will be judged and worry that others will treat them differently. Depression is still a huge secret that no one wants to talk about.
- A new study found that depression symptoms are three times higher during the COVID-19 lockdown.
- Experts say the COVID-19 pandemic is a traumatic event of a much larger scale.
- It has caused physical, emotional, and psychological distress, and not just for patients of the virus.
4) I am an alcoholic
Usually, something will happen – an unfortunate event that will jolt a person with a drink problem to seek help. Either they lose their driver’s license of their partner leaves them or they lose their job before they do something proactive. There is help available and many feel so relieved once they have taken that first step.
Alcohol abuse has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the British Liver Trust, which has reported a 500% rise in calls to its helpline since lockdown began in March. Three people share their stories of dealing with alcoholism during this period
5) I am frightened of life
This confession covers many different issues such as – anxiety and phobias. Many people seek counselling in order to find comfort and reassurance. In life we need to be seen to be ahead of the game, functioning and successful and counselling allows a soft place to fall. A safe haven where judgements are put aside and a person is met with understanding and acceptance.
- Nearly 20 percent of COVID-19 patients developed a mental health issue — like depression, anxiety, or dementia — within 3 months of diagnosis, according to a new study.
- Researchers evaluated the health records of 69 million people in the United States, which included over 62,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Doctors have long suspected that COVID-19 was linked to higher rates of mental health problems.
My job has helped me to realise that everyone feels self doubt at times, no matter who they are or what they have/have not achieved in life. The clients that are financially successful never stop to congratulate themselves – instead they worry about keeping their riches. It seems we always find something to worry about and we tend to live in the future. We torture ourselves with “what if” thinking and beliefs such as “I’ll be happy when….”
Counselling offers a different perspective, a new way of viewing the world. If a client is motivated to make changes the sky really is the limit. Life will return to normal and it’s important to take life one day at a time for now. If you need help, get in touch with me for therapy. It could help you cope until life improves.
Photo by Hoàng Duy Khang – 0932.042.042
Photo by Hoàng Duy Khang – 0932.042.042