I’ve seen my counsellor a couple of times in the last few weeks, not having seen her regularly for a long time. I have to say, I am really grateful having someone whose opinion I value and who seems to understand me. It can be hard to find a counsellor who you click with. For me, having someone who understands what it means for me to be a Christian is important; a non-Christian counsellor I went to for a while was helpful in some ways, but really unhelpful in others when it came to giving me advice that conflicted with my beliefs and being a bit patronising about it.
I guess maybe counselling isn’t for everyone, but for me it helps to have someone I can lay everything out in front of. She doesn’t judge me, she doesn’t criticise me for choices I’ve made. I don’t have to worry that something I say might hurt her feelings, I don’t have to censor myself. I just say what I think and feel, whatever is occupying my thinking on the day I go to see her.
She’s adept at getting to the heart of what I’m trying to say, and at making links between that and things I’ve said in the past. She doesn’t tell me what to do, but she helps me make connections myself and gently guides me to consider things in a way I may not have before. She’s able to get a bird’s eye view of my situation, without being tangled up in it, and she can point out where the path might lead when I can’t even work out how to take another step.
So hurrah for good counsellors! I don’t know how to pick a good one necessarily, but I reckon if you’ve had bad experiences or not clicked with a counsellor, it’s worth trying others. I know that can be exhausting, having to tell and re-tell your story to a complete stranger, but when it works (like any relationship I guess) it’s wonderful.