Should or should not

People are always telling us what we should or shouldn’t do; eat healthily; dump him, be nice, exercise regularly… a litany of do and don’t, should and should not, bombarding our every waking moment from colleagues, friends, family, advertising, social media and then our own internal voice which may also be questioning or criticising; ‘I shouldn’t be listening to them... or should I?’. All this ‘telling’ and questioning can all too often push us into feelings of overwhelm, anxiety or depression. Our stress levels can become so high that we can start to feel physically unwell. We can start getting headaches or mystery ailments that impact on our ability to manage the ‘litany of should’.

Even when we know the ‘should’ being offered is from a good place and we would feel better for it, we often don’t follow the action suggested. Is it self-sabotage? Not feeling positive about ourselves to make a change even when we know it would be positive? Are we feeling too overwhelmed to tell the good ‘should’ from the bad ‘should’? Feeling too unsure of ourselves that we become stuck? Is there a part of us that is just resistant to being told what to do even when another part knows that what we’re being told is right? Does being told 'should' or 'should not' connect with our resistant inner child? Does it connect directly to our wanting some governance over our lives? Do we feel judged when we are told what we should do? Is there some shame associated with acknowledging or acting in response to being told 'should'?

Person-centred counselling offers a confidential, non-judgemental, non-directive environment where the client has governance. In person-centred counselling there is no should or should not. Person-centred counselling offers unconditional positive regard and empathic understanding of the client’s internal frame of reference. Person-centred counselling provides a space for clients to regain their sense of self and rebuild their emotional and psychological resilience to being told ‘should’.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Bristol BS9 & BS14

Written by Jane Kershaw

Bristol BS9 & BS14

Jane Kershaw is a Counsellor and Reiki Master

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