What colour is counselling?
15th December, 20150 Comments
Searching for counselling can be difficult. First of all, it takes a lot of self-awareness and courage to recognise that you may have an issue that you feel unable to deal with by yourself. Secondly, there are so many different types of counselling, counsellors, psychotherapists, life coaches and so on, that knowing where to start is confusing and can be really off-putting. Then there's the counsellor themselves: man or woman? Old or young? Everything about the process of finding a counsellor can be a challenge, particularly when you may not feel particularly confident or clear about your aims, feelings and wishes.
Of course, the best place to start is by looking at the advice from the registered governing bodies for counselling and psychotherapy for example, the BACP or the UKCP. Talking to your GP may be helpful or other people you may know who have been to see a counsellor.
One of the most important sessions is the initial assessment. At first you may feel like anybody will do: you just want to get this thing off your chest and tell somebody what is going on and how you are feeling. That may well be a part of the session but getting a 'feel' for the relationshipis just an important. Is this a person you feel you can tell your most intimate thoughts and feelings? Do you trust them? Sometimes, the answer can be really odd.
I knew I had found the right therapist for me because I often felt myself feeling frustrated and annoyed with what he asked. I wanted to say something and tell him about my life and he kept asking 'stupid' questions. The killer question was: 'what colour would you give that feeling?'
What? I'm telling you that this person made me sad but wants to know about colours? More weirdly, the first answer in my head was blue. Why didn't I just say that instead of getting angry about his question? As it turned out, we discovered that I felt particularly vulnerable when I felt that I had been overlooked and that my response was anger. We looked at shades of colour and shades of emotions and slowly, we found a whole rainbow that meant something to me.
It's also not so odd to look at life in this way. Think about songs that have made the charts: 'Blue Christmas,' 'Red,' 'Mellow Yellow,' 'Orange Crush'. These songs link to colours and link to emotions.
Counselling can seem odd at times but the relationship you forge with your counsellor can be healing and empowering. You don't always have to like them but you might just take something away that helps you to get hold of what is troubling you. So, what colour are you feeling right now?
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Andrea Harrn Psychotherapist and Author of The Mood CardsMay 13th, 2011
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