How can therapy help you develop respect for yourself and others?

Once you've had counselling, you realise that you can actually step back from the rat race of life and reflect on what is happening for you, here and now. You also find/make the time to decide what you need that gives you a better chance of making more informed choices for yourself and your lifestyle.


That's all it takes, once you've made that first move to access therapy.

The time to step back and think about what is happening for you could be something you do on a regular basis. Like your counselling hour, put time aside to do this and even put it in the diary. Reflect on what is going on within you (mind, body and soul) and outside and around you (people, circumstances, situations, problems and potential).

It really is worth putting it in your diary like other important appointments and reminders!

What could be more important than your well-being, your needs being met and your hopes becoming more possible?

There are always things to be done; always someone needing your time and attention; always responsibilities that need to be fulfilled.

And there is always time to do what you want for yourself, too - to rest and relax, to connect with others, to check in with yourself and your life, your needs and your values. Are they all being met by you? And, if not, who else will meet them for you? Well, actually, no one will meet them for you - it's up to you, so when you learn what you need, then you can set out to find it!

If you want to keep giving, helping, becoming and enhancing your options too, then there is nothing more important! 'You can't pour from an empty vessel' and that goes for you too!

Therapy is a (re)learning process - learning more about you and your tendencies, your options to meet your needs because, without meeting them, you will feel unhappy and anxious. 

This time out will help you recognise your strengths and those things you want and expect that might change over time; to better understand why that is and where those things came from (which can help immensely with those necessary 'informed choices'). 

Your particular needs might be security or stability, maybe purpose and direction or worth and value to your community (whatever that is from nation to neighbourhood and everything in between, your team or your family). They change as time moves on and you get some things you want and need, then those change.

Counselling is about learning respect for yourself - and also then for others too, because much of our angst comes from relations with other people. It could be that you have lost or never had self-respect - no boundaries to speak of, unsure of why you are as you are and if it's "right", or what you really want and need. Maybe you haven't yet realised how much personal power you have over your situation.

Counselling helps you find those things. People who have done it once find it helpful to go back in later times for another issue to be explored, and by now they know they are going to be able to find answers, find options and find new perspectives on old wounds or anxieties.

Respect yourself - what is important to you and for you, for your well-being? You can similarly respect others around you more easily when you better understand yourself. You can behave more consciously of their needs too, and what you can offer other people for a win-win situation.

You can be more aware of others and how they influence your life. Making informed decisions and choices is more likely when you give yourself that precious time to step back and check-in with yourself. Sometimes alone, sometimes you need someone else to help you reflect.

Add this to your annual routine - your special dates or quarterly checks. You have them at work so have them at home and personally too. Check-in with others as well as yourself. It takes as little as half an hour with a coffee and cake, or half a day with a treat or a friend (or both!). Enjoy your explorations and discoveries, your new skills and tools and your improved outlook from the new insights you discover! 

"Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river" - this Taoist saying means if you sit quietly and let your mind flow, you discover great things.

Respect for others brings its own rewards with mutual respect more often than not and, therefore, greater rapport, time for you and consideration from them, treating you with equal worth to themselves - time, needs, energy, capacity to help and to give.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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