When I first sat in front of a counsellor and attempted to discuss the difficulties I was facing I found the experience of opening my mouth and speaking to a complete stranger both strange and profound. The counsellor patiently listened as I tried to give voice to my inner struggles and during a brief pause I was shocked to hear the words I had uttered repeated back in a calm and coherent manner as the counsellor sought clarity with sentences such as, “What I’ve heard is …” “Do I understand correctly?” “It sounds like what you’re experiencing is ..”
It made me smile to have been listened to and hearing the counsellor reflect back what I had been trying to communicate held a mirror up through which I gained understanding into my situation at that time. Within that simple interaction where words were exchanged, rambled, filtered, sifted, reflected and understood I felt a great knot of tension unraveling. Leaving that first session I felt lighter, less anxious and deeply inspired.
For this reason, and the subsequent sessions which helped me further, I decided to train as a psychotherapist and offer this service to others. I continue to find the power of putting words and voice to the challenges we face and to have these accurately mirrored back enormously transformative and healing. For many of us we have not been brought up to voice our difficulties let alone have them heard and understood so the dynamic between a talking therapist and client can be unique and create a space in which it is possible to understand ourselves better.