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What can counselling do?

(8 Posts)
DoolallyMarjorie Sun 09-Oct-11 16:54:47

Hi, don't really know how to start this.

What can counselling really do? I've had a horrendous past 18 months, stress after stress, nothing happening to me but bad thing after bad thing happening to people I love. I feel like I'm treading water and the next wave will drown me.

But can counselling really help? It can't bring the dead back to life, or cure terminal illness. It can't make someone less dependent on me or stop someone else's behaviour towards me.

I want to run away but the things I want to run from would come with me.

AmINearlyThereYet Sun 09-Oct-11 18:01:57

Hi. I'm really sorry you are having such a horrible time. sad

Counselling can help, especially if the person you get is right for you. For me, it made me feel that there was someone who was on my side; and to whom I could say all the things which seemed too dangerous/ hurtful/ trivial etc to say to anyone else. That then let me find different (and better) ways of coping.

No, it can't bring the dead back to life, but it will let you talk about them as much as you want. It can certainly give you ideas and strategies for dealing with other people's behaviour towards you, and a safe place for trying them out.

Also, the mere fact of going to the appointment every week can give you a sense that you are doing something which might make your life more tolerable. That in itself can be helpful.

DoolallyMarjorie Sun 09-Oct-11 18:53:04

Thank you, I'm glad it helped you. I'm sorry, I've re-read my first post, it comes across as angry and I didn't mean it to.

AmINearlyThereYet Sun 09-Oct-11 18:57:55

I didn't think it sounded angry. You sound near the end of your tether. Are you OK? (I'm fairly new on here, so if you have lots of previous posts, I won't have seen them.)

Sorry, stupid question, you obviously aren't OK as in "everything fine", but are things especially bad at the moment?

NanaNina Sun 09-Oct-11 19:00:35

Counselling is not a magic bullet - if only there was such a thing! You are so right about "running away" and I think this is a very natural reaction when stress gets excessive, but you are also right that the worries/anxieties etc will go with you.

I agree with AmIbearlythereyet, the important thing is that you find a therapist/counsellor who you feel comfortable with and feel that you can talk freely with. Not sure if you are thinking of private therapy which is the best way but does cost around £45-£55 per hour. You can get therapy on the NHS but it is usually CBT which is useful but deals with managing the thoughts and feelings that we have and trying not to get into spirals of negative thinking.

However when thinking of loss of a loved one (whether that is by death or divorce etc) I think it is absolutely imperative that you find a good therapist who is experienced in grief therapy. You need to be able to express what you are feeling about the person you have lost, (or are going to lose) as you mention terminal illness, so that you can grieve that loss and understand that you will feel many emotions and you will takes 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

My closest and dearest friend died at the age of 46 in 1994 and I had a month off work as I thought I was depressed, and in a way I was. I only wanted to talk about my friend, the illness that led to her death etc etc. After a month I went back to work and tried to get on with my life. In March 1995 I had a major depressive episode (3 months in a pyschiatric hospital) and taking medication, and i did make a complete recovery. However had i had bereavement counselling I'm certain I would not have ended up in a heap. Our sorrows sort of burrow inside us and if they are not brought out in the open, they find other ways of damaging us.

I was a bit concerned by your saying you felt you were treading water and the next wave could drown you - so please try to get some help asap.

SkinnedAlive Sun 09-Oct-11 19:01:54

I think it can help a lot. I know I would be dead by now without counselling. It helped me understand the way I coped with all the bad things in my life and gave me new strategies to cope. If you can get it then it is worth a try. Even if it is not right for you, you have lost nothing.

DoolallyMarjorie Sun 09-Oct-11 20:25:13

Thank you everyone. There's a counselling service that I can access through work, so might give them a call tomorrow just to see what they say.

Sometimes I'm fine, sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed - I reckon I've had at least ten years quota of stress in the past few months. Dad died, unexpectedly whilst abroad, mum's disabled and Dad was her carer, she also had skin cancer this year, dh has the terminal illness (although he could be ok for years), dd2 is under investigation for the same, one best friend had cancer, another a heart attack, we moved house and the kids schools, moved mum into a warden aided complex, I started a new job and quit the same day... and I dreamt about Dad last night so it was all a bit much.

AmINearlyThereYet Sun 09-Oct-11 20:37:30

That sounds a horrendous amount to cope with, I am so sorry sad
Even if it does nothing else, counselling will give you a chance to talk about what support you need and how you can get it. Do please call your counselling service tomorrow; you owe it to yourself. As SkinnedAlive says, you have nothing to lose.

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