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What to talk about at counselling?!

(5 Posts)
LizziTea Wed 04-Nov-15 04:22:36

I am halfway through some sessions of counselling for postnatal depression, and my counsellor has asked me to think about what I would like to talk about in the sessions. So far they haven't seemed massively helpful - lots of talking about my childhood and advice to 'be kind to myself' by being less cuddly with my demanding baby! But I am a bit flummoxed about what to say to her. I have heard that counselling can be really effective, but haven't a clue what we should be talking about or how... Has anyone found counselling helpful? And in very general terms, what were the topics of conversation? Sorry, this sounds like such a stupid question when I write it down!

jellyjiggles Wed 04-Nov-15 05:38:55

Talk about how your feeling now! What it's like to suddenly be a new mum. What your depression is like for you. Do you sleep, do you feel anxious, cut off, numb, sad, etc. everybody's experience of depression is different. Are you confident? Do you have self belief?

Talk about your hopes and dreams for the future and if you don't have any why not. What's it like to be you, living your life now?

Talk about the weather and how it affects you. Your relationships with friends, family, work colleagues. Hobbies that you had or would like. Why you like them or what attracts you to the things you'd like to try.

If all else fails talk about the fact you don't know what to talk about.

Yes counselling helped but it takes time.

OgreIt Wed 04-Nov-15 06:17:28

I try to go into my therapy sessions with a couple of moments or thoughts from the week in my mind as a starting point for the session. For example, last week I went in with a difficult conversation I'd had earlier that week with my own parents in mind. It expands from there. Last week, I ended up talking about how it blows my mind that for every person on the planet, there's a woman who went through pregnancy, birth, the postnatal period and all the crap bits of motherhood (as well as the good!)! Try to find an incident/thought/moment from your week and see where that takes you.

rozepanther Wed 04-Nov-15 06:35:12

There's nothing you "should" be talking about. The good thing about counselling is that while it feels (in my experience) like the counsellor is the expert (and obviously they do have expertise) it's actually a partnership with the client. That means that if you're half way through and just don't know what you need/want/should talk about, that you can really just say that. You are not being graded, or even really "analysed", so you can just say what you've said in your original post.

It can be very effective, but it becomes less effective if you try to please the counsellor rather than say what you're really thinking!

And also, if you feel that you want to hold your baby more and the counsellor is suggesting less and you're not comfortable with that, then it's ok to tell him/her. You might discuss it a bit more.

Do you know what she means when she says "be kind to yourself"? Is it easy/hard to do? If hard, then that could be something - IF that's something you find you want to work on.

Counselling has been great for me, but I found I only got out what I put in in terms of being totally open.

rozepanther Wed 04-Nov-15 06:35:38

There's nothing you "should" be talking about. The good thing about counselling is that while it feels (in my experience) like the counsellor is the expert (and obviously they do have expertise) it's actually a partnership with the client. That means that if you're half way through and just don't know what you need/want/should talk about, that you can really just say that. You are not being graded, or even really "analysed", so you can just say what you've said in your original post.

It can be very effective, but it becomes less effective if you try to please the counsellor rather than say what you're really thinking!

And also, if you feel that you want to hold your baby more and the counsellor is suggesting less and you're not comfortable with that, then it's ok to tell him/her. You might discuss it a bit more.

Do you know what she means when she says "be kind to yourself"? Is it easy/hard to do? If hard, then that could be something - IF that's something you find you want to work on.

Counselling has been great for me, but I found I only got out what I put in in terms of being totally open.

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