My introduction to counselling

My introduction to counselling

On Friday, I had my introductory appointment with the counselling service who will be supporting me. The purpose of this appointment was to share what issues I am facing, identify ways they might be able to help and discuss what I am hoping to gain. I had to wait for around four weeks to get the call for this appointment, and have to wait a few more weeks to be assigned a counsellor. It seems a long time, but I know there are other places in the country where people are waiting months to access the help they need.

Before

Before my appointment, I was really nervous. I felt terrified during the 15-minute walk between my flat and their offices. My anxiety becomes heightened when I’m going to places for the first time. My boyfriend and I had walked past the night before so I knew exactly where it was, but there were still lots of questions in my mind. It was inside a shared space – would I know where to go? What should I say? What were they going to ask me? Would they be nice?

I arrived 10 minutes before my appointment, only to see a sign which said access would only be granted at the time of my appointment. Was ten minutes too early? I panicked and stood awkwardly outside for five of them, just in case they wouldn’t let me in. Then I had to face the intercom system. I hate these because, like phone calls, I worry about what to say and how I will come across to the person at the other end. The system must be old and didn’t work properly, so I struggled to hear which didn’t help.

Nevertheless, I managed to get in, climbed to the second floor and the receptionist let me into the waiting room. My heart was pounding.

During

A lady came to meet me a few minutes after my arrival. We went into a room with two chairs and a desk. It was a nice size – not too big and not too small. That may seem like an odd thing to notice, but I really didn’t know what to expect!

We sat down together and she explained what would happen. She was lovely. She asked me to fill in a questionnaire about how I had been feeling recently. After she had handed it to me, she left the room while I filled it in. I actually really liked the fact she did this because I would have felt uncomfortable if she had been sat watching me and it gave me chance to focus.

When she returned, we discussed my answers. I explained it was the anxiety which I was struggling with the most. She just let me talk, and it was nice. My voice was shaky, but I felt comfortable enough to tell her what I was experiencing. It felt nice to let it out. She responded occasionally and said things which made me feel understood. She gave me different perspectives of the situations I described and it became clear to me that counselling is probably going to be beneficial for me.

Sadly, there’s no guarantee she will be assigned to me but I felt safer in the knowledge that this person was kind and patient with me.

After

I came out feeling lighter. Even though it was only an introduction, I felt as though I’d been taken seriously and it seemed like confirmation I was making the right decision to go ahead with it. I know other sessions will not be so easy. I’ve heard how upsetting and challenging they can be but I really do like the idea of having someone neutral to talk to. I love the people in my life and know they’d never judge me. Yet, I still keep things inside because I’m scared they’re too close and might have their feelings hurt.

My boyfriend text me to ask if I wanted to meet him after work to go for ice cream, and I said yes. There was still an hour before he finished work, so I went for a short walk. I sat down in the park, and stayed there for just under an hour. The time was spent admiring my surroundings and listening to music. I haven’t been able to do this for a couple of months. When I was working, I’d regularly do it on my days off. More recently, I’ve found myself feeling stressed and overwhelmed, even at the thought of it.

The sun was shining and it was so good to be outside. There have been plenty of gorgeous days lately but I haven’t always felt able to go out and face the world. Sitting there on the bench, I felt a sense of victory.

Ruth: 1, anxiety: 0.

Introduction to counselling pin



27 Comments

  1. 4th June 2018 / 7:32 pm

    This is such a inspirational post Ruth πŸ’–. I’m glad your introductory session was such a positive experience. I remember when I went a few years ago I felt so anxious before then much lighter afterwards too. Sometimes it’s good to talk to someone outside of family and friends. Sitting in the park listening to music and admiring your surroundings sounds wonderful too πŸ’–. Great post, thank you for sharing 😘 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      4th June 2018 / 8:37 pm

      Aww, thank you so much for reading and commenting, lovely! I’m glad, too because, knowing what I’m like, I wouldn’t have gone back or tried again if there had been a hiccup. It was a good day πŸ™‚ xx

  2. 4th June 2018 / 8:31 pm

    The pre appointment nerves and thought process is so relatable! I really hope this helps you with your anxiety and brings you some peace and ways to cope. I miss counselling and often feel I should go back, I’d love to see the same person I did before but I get worried if I went back she’d judge me for relapsing…deep deep down I know she wouldn’t but the anxiety clutches onto that

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      4th June 2018 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you! I really hope so, too because it really is the anxiety which is the hardest for me to deal with and stops me living my life. There are so many things I don’t feel like I can do because of it and I’m just so tired of feeling that way.

      I understand those thoughts. It’s something I’m worried about for further down the line, if I ever felt the need to go back. Why must anxiety play these games with us?

      • 6th June 2018 / 7:23 am

        I can relate to everything you said about anxiety there. It’s like its robbing us of living our best lives. But you are making some amazing steps xx

  3. 4th June 2018 / 9:20 pm

    Hi Ruth I’m so glad your session went so well and that you felt comfortable and at ease to talk about your anxiety. I do hope you are paired up with someone equally as nice when you start your counselling. It sounds like your time in the park also did you good and made you feel happy too 😊

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      4th June 2018 / 9:25 pm

      Thank you so much, Fiona. I’m hoping so, too! The time in the park definitely helped, just to be outside, listening to the birds and having the sun on my face. It was so good πŸ™‚

  4. 5th June 2018 / 2:36 am

    Wow I struggle with Anxiety, and this was so brave of you. There is no way I could have done this, so I applaud you. I really hope this all goes well for you and it helps! xx

    http://zoe-ware.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      5th June 2018 / 9:04 am

      Aww, thanks Zoe. I hope you can go eventually if you need to! It was hard but already feels so beneficial. πŸ™‚ Let’s see what happens in the future! xx

  5. 5th June 2018 / 9:40 am

    Argh, I commented and it disappeared πŸ˜‚

    Thank you for sharing such a positive and inspiring recount of your experience lovely. I’m so glad that your experience was a positive one and a massive congratulations for making the first move on this journey. Counselling can be an emotional rollercoaster but having an impartial bystander share their educated opinion and support is so beneficial in many cases. I wish you all the best for your future sessions and hope you get the right counsellor for you…

    Also, bf sounds like a keeper #icecreamdate

    Shevy
    http://moonsomnia.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      5th June 2018 / 9:44 am

      Thank you so much. I am a bit nervous about who I will end up with as a counsellor, but it was explained to me that I can change if I don’t feel comfortable with them as they want me to get the most out of it. It was reassuring, but I don’t know if I’d have the guts to tell them if I wasn’t happy! I’m sure it will work out fine.

      Yeah, he’s the best! He’s been an absolute saint through all of this πŸ™‚ x

  6. 5th June 2018 / 10:30 am

    Oh, I remember the first appointment nerves! I’ve been through the system a few times and it still happens. It never become easy to talk about these things, no matter how many times you’ve been or how much you’ve talked about it. It will be so helpful though, I’m sure you’ll get a lot from it. Good luck!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      5th June 2018 / 10:33 am

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

  7. 5th June 2018 / 11:00 am

    Glad your first appointment went well. It can be so incredibly nerve wracking when you don’t no what to expect! You did great πŸ™‚xx

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      5th June 2018 / 11:01 am

      Thank you so much πŸ™‚ x

  8. 5th June 2018 / 12:21 pm

    I had the exact same feelings as you! I finally felt understood and that I was ‘normal’! Thank you for writing this blog post, it’s so inspirational as well as interesting and I’m glad that it went okay/well!😊

    Xoxo
    Shirley | https://shirleycuypers.blogspot.be

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      5th June 2018 / 12:22 pm

      Thanks Shirley! It really was so nice to talk to someone and have them really get it, obviously from their years of experience. Sometimes, people I know say things with good intentions of being helpful but, as my counsellor pointed out, it’s always about 10 steps ahead of where I am right now. So, they’ll say things like “it will get easier the more you do it”, but the fact is I don’t feel like I can do it in the first place to get the practice. x

  9. 5th June 2018 / 3:52 pm

    I can totally relate to all your feelings, anxious during waiting, not wanting to show up too early, feeling awkward and the list goes on! But at the end of the day, you deserve a star, Ruth! It’s so brave of you to actually go to counselling :)x I hope everything is going to go well and that the counselling help you out! x

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      5th June 2018 / 10:52 pm

      Thank you, Jesica! I’m sure I will keep everyone updated on my journey πŸ™‚ x

  10. 5th June 2018 / 8:21 pm

    It’s good to hear that your first counseling session was positive and encouraging! My first counseling experience was disappointing because my expectations were too high. I was hoping for a quick fix, or at least a smidgen of peace. Thankfully though, my first session put me on the right path to get help. Thanks for sharing, Ruth!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      5th June 2018 / 10:00 pm

      I’m sorry to hear your first one was disappointing but I’m glad it all came good in the end. Thanks for reading!

  11. 5th June 2018 / 9:47 pm

    I had a very similar experience with counselling! Glad yours was positive too. I just felt relieved. x

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      5th June 2018 / 10:01 pm

      Same! As hard as it is to say the things out loud, it’s like letting so much out of you which you’ve been carrying around for so long. It feels amazing.

  12. 6th June 2018 / 9:37 am

    I’m so glad you shared this! You’re so right, Ruth 1 Anxiety 0. You got this girl! it is so lovely . that the lady left so you could relax and do the questionnaire alone, it just makes doing something hard just that more easy when people are accommodating and know what to do! x

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      6th June 2018 / 10:50 am

      Definitely! I hate doing stuff with someone just sat there watching me so I would have been really uncomfortable! Thanks for your support, lovely x

  13. 6th June 2018 / 9:45 pm

    This is awesome, Ruth! I’m so proud of you for taking the first steps to getting the help you need to better yourself. I don’t know if we have something like an introduction to counseling in my area, but it would help me so much to find someone that is able to help me the way I need to be helped. I hope the woman you spoke to is chosen to be the person to help you since you seemed so comfortable around her. If not, may the best person who knows what you need and makes you feel comfortable be assigned to you. I wish you luck during this process!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      6th June 2018 / 10:04 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! It might be worth reaching out to some counselling services near you and see if it’s something you can try? Counselling isn’t for everyone, at the end of the day, so I’m sure they’d give you the opportunity to discuss your needs and see if they can help. Just be aware waiting lists can be long. Hope you manage to get the help you need, and thank you again!

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