My advice to anyone having a tough time, whether it be divorce, bereavement, family problems or anxiety: talk to someone.
Talking to a friend is all well and good. However, there is only so far that talking to a friend or partner can take you. Although we don’t like to admit it, there will always be some degree of censorship in our conversation with our loved ones. Whether that be for the desire to preserve privacy or fear of being judged, it’s still there. By speaking to someone outside your situation, like a counsellor, it gives you the ability to take that censorship away.
There are loads of different types of counselling. You’ve obviously got your bog standard talking to someone for an hour about your problems. Then you’ve got CBT, DBT, psychotherapy and all sorts of others. I’ve had CBT before and I won’t lie, I’m not a fan. This post isn’t about plugging certain types of counselling and knocking others. It’s about making sure people get the help when they need it most. Some people don’t want to see someone face to face at all. In the modern age we live in, you can even have therapy online. You can email the samaritans, you can use one to one chats on 7 cups of tea (I’ll put all relevant addresses and phone numbers at the end of this post) and there are even some counsellors out there that offer consultations over Skype.
Me personally, I’m all for face to face counselling. Talking things through. Getting things off your chest and working your way to a brighter future. I’ve been through my fair share of “trauma” (doctor’s words) in my life. Emotional abuse by my mother, losing my Dad as a teenager, domestic abuse. There’s no way I could have got through the things I have gone through and the things I have seen without professional support. I was in a psychiatric hospital the day after my 21st birthday and I can honestly tell you it was one of the best choices I have ever made. It has helped shape who I am today. Daily counselling, meditation, CBT and psychotherapy truly helped my heal. From the what was then current trauma which was the death of my Dad.
I can put my hand on my heart and say I would be dead if it were not for the outside help I received when I was younger and receive now having left an abusive marriage and going through a messy divorce. Yes, private counselling can be costly, and the NHS waiting list is huge. There are ways around it. If you have suffered a bereavement, go to CRUSE bereavement care. If you are in immediate danger, call the Samaritans. If you are going through cancer treatment, Macmillan can help. If you are going through domestic abuse, your local women’s refuge can help you. If you are having relationship issues, RELATE can help. If none of these fit the bill, then there are counselling services that charge you based on what you earn. If you are on a low income, you won’t have to pay the full, say, £60 per hour. Take advantage of any facilities that around you. They really can make all the difference.
Useful websites mentioned in this article:
If you are in immediate distress or danger, please report to a hospital or call The Samaritans