What do you need?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Stella Goddard, BA (Hons) Registered MBACP (Accred)
21st January, 20170 Comments
Thinking about what you need may be a new experience and is perhaps difficult to answer. I would suggest nonetheless that it is an important question to consider reflecting on.
Within each person are deep longings to love and be loved, to feel secure emotionally and spiritually as well as physically, to have a purpose and a life that is meaningful. We may or may not be aware of these deep longings. A loss of these basic human needs can have a profound effect.
Sometimes people find that they feel unsettled deep within themselves. It can be difficult to express and leave them not knowing what to do with these thoughts and feelings. This can grow into a gnawing sense of feeling lost and without direction, perhaps even feeling helpless.
Sometimes people know why they feel unsettled - it may be linked to a life transition - a job loss, a bereavement, a relationship breakdown, a house move, loss of health, children leaving home. At other times, the feelings seem to come out of nowhere. Life is full of transitions - some more difficult than others, but all involving change. It goes without saying that it takes time to settle into something new and different. It is important not to write ourselves off as 'having no use' or 'not being good enough'.
Within each one of us is great potential. Some people are able to discover and develop this early on in their lives. For others, the awareness of their potential comes later in life.
People may find themselves at a crossroads, not knowing what to do and waiting for someone else to tell them. Whilst having family, friends and colleagues who are supportive is a great encouragement, ultimately we are all responsible for the choices that we make. Being at a crossroads can be a chance to stop and consider the best way forward. Self-care, timing and pacing are crucial.
Whilst sometimes the way forward is not the one we thought it would be, taking a new route can lead to much personal growth and development.
When people feel unsettled, they may push these thoughts and feelings down or perhaps anaesthetise them with unhealthy relationships, drug or alcohol misuse or some other form of self-harm.
It can be helpful to pause and consider what these thoughts are really about deep down and what we will do with them. Processing thoughts and feelings is crucial for good psychological health.
Our deep longings can only be fully realised when we start with self-compassion and a healthy love of ourselves just because we are us. This is very different from being selfish or narcissistic. So, often life is a blur as we rush from one activity to another, trying to fill the empty space, yet we know that we are still not content.
If we take time to be still and reflect, we can then consider what it is that we need, what we want and what our gifts are and how we might develop them. If we start small and do what we can, take advice from those we trust, we may well find that there is more to life and ourselves than perhaps we had previously thought.
When we are at peace within ourselves this has an impact on our relationships personally and professionally, builds our resilience and helps us to better manage life with all of it's challenges.
About the author
Stella Goddard has extensive personal and professional experience in reflecting on and exploring what it is that people need for good psychological health. She works with enhancing clients' sense of self so that they are empowered and have renewed hope and vision for their lives.
Related articles from our experts
Alessio Rizzo, MA, MSc, MBACPAugust 12th, 2017
Graeme Armstrong MBACPAugust 4th, 2017
Mandie Howard Dip Counsellor, MBACP (Reg)August 11th, 2017
Andrea Harrn Psychotherapist and Author of The Mood CardsMay 13th, 2011
Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Supervisor (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,MBPsS)March 29th, 2015
Keeley Townsend BA (Hons), Ad.Dip.CP with Distinction, MNCS (Acc)December 14th, 2009
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.