Counselling for well-being
Timing is everything.
You've probably heard this expression before, and perhaps in reference to comic timing and jokes, but it also resonates in the counselling field as well.
Along with such things as a good diet, exercise and mindfulness, counselling is one of the many positive measures that you can take in order to maintain good mental health. As a busy counsellor who often sees people in periods of emotional distress, unhappiness or anxiety, a small but increasing number of people are seeking my services as part of an ongoing process of building resilience and self-awareness.
Counselling offers a chance to do something you cannot do anywhere else. It presents an opportunity to talk about yourself in depth with someone who offers a genuine regard for your well-being and, for this reason, it's quite different from talking to friends, lovers or family members. Free from judgment, you can understand and examine what is going on for you and through dialogue, explore your emotions, values and underlying beliefs. The resulting self-awareness helps you shed light on your behaviour and responses. While there is no guarantee that counselling will prevent depression or anxiety, there is good evidence that it helps with resilience.
One client described her experience of counselling as a bit like going to the gym but for the pursuit of mental rather than physical health. The analogy made me smile and it is true... paying attention to one's emotions and reactions is fundamental to well-being.
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About Mandie Howard
Mandie Howard is a BACP registered counsellor. She currently works in private practice as well as working as a bereavement counsellor for St Joseph's Hospice in London.