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feeling odd after counselling

(8 Posts)
alicemac83 Thu 20-Feb-14 09:38:28

Hi everyone,
I've been going to cousselling for two weeks now. I've had a period of depression, which I think is linked to the PND I had three years ago.
I don't really feel like the counsellor is right for me. I was telling her how guilty I feel about having PND, how I often feel jealous when I see other happy families, how I feel guilty about working full-time even though I love it, and how sometimes I feel a bit trapped by having a baby etc. The reason I feel weird about it is that she didn't offer me any reassurance that these feeling were ok - so when I left I just felt even more guilty, and that maybe I was just a terrible mother.
I've never had counselling before so I don't really know what to expect, but I was hoping for some help and undertsanding I suppose.

SilverStars Thu 20-Feb-14 10:24:20

Counsellors work in different ways. They usually do not reassure, comfort, hand hold ( that is for family and friends), but often give you a safe space to explore your thoughts and feelings. And to work out your own resolution, or solution. A different type of treatment is cbt which is not talking so much about feelings and the past but may suit you more.

Counselling with a trained counsellor on the NHS is usually short term. So why not set a focus for next session, talk about what you want out of the sessions and see what she says. If you want sympathy and reassurance tell her and ask if she gives it. If she does not ask if it is normal. And find out where you can get reassurance.

Often they do not give reassurance because not everyone's thoughts and feelings are rational ( mine were not years ago!!). They do not help in ways friends do. So ask what help you should expect in your sessions.

If you think your issues are pnd why not ask your gp to refer you to the peri natal mental health team. They only work with people with a child under 18m though as if issues continue after that it fits under adult mental health team not peri natal. Worth a try though.

If you are going private and paying, talk maybe next session honestly what you want from the counselling relationship ( help, understanding, reassurance...) and if that is not how the counsellor works terminate it and find one that has an understanding approach. When employing privately tell them on the phone what you want strait away to get your needs met. On the NHS you have little choice.

alicemac83 Thu 20-Feb-14 10:39:17

Hi Silverstars,
Thanks for the advice. I am paying paying, but I am doing it through a counselling centre and wasn't given a choice of who I saw.
I think the problem is that I talk a lot of people, and have already been through lots of what my problem is. I guess I just can't see how she's going to help me, because she seems to just repeat what I've already said. Ie - I'll say 'I think this depressive period has been brought on my remembering the PND,' and she'll say 'hmmm, it sounds like there's a link with your PND.' So it's a little frustrating. I do think maybe CBT would be better for me xx

SilverStars Thu 20-Feb-14 17:39:28

You can pay privately for cbt as well and therefore choose your person. May be worth looking up who does it where you live?

SeasonofTheWitch Mon 24-Feb-14 00:59:05

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

NumptyNameChange Mon 24-Feb-14 07:32:44

tell her! say, i've felt really weird since our last session - i talked about how guilty i felt about things and when you didn't challenge or reassure those feelings i felt even guiltier.

counselling is as much about the relationship and this stuff that comes up 'in' the room as it is what you're talking about. it's important to talk about how you feel about the counselling process as that is where issues can really come to light and be explored.

looking at why her silence made you feel worse might be telling - re: what is your relationship with approval? how do you deal with your feelings, do you need approval, reassurance, etc from others? where do these things have their routes? is there anyone in your life now, or then, who you feel is silent in response to your need or whose approval you really wanted/needed but didn't get? just random but thoughts but do you see what i mean? this is where the rich stuff is and can only be explored by being honest with the counsellor.

often people interpret 'honest with the counsellor' as confessing all of your stuff in the past or secret stuff but one of the key things it means i think is being honest about the counselling itself and how you are feeling in the room and after.

if your counsellor is skilled she will be able to handle you telling her and explore the feelings with you. if they just say nothing or 'that's not the purpose of counselling' then you may be right that they're not the counsellor for you.

questions i'd want to ask if you told me would be things like:
-what did my silence feel like?
-does that remind you of anyone else in your life?
-what could i have said that would have reassured you? what was it you needed?
-do YOU think you're right to feel guilty? does anyone else's opinion make a difference?

go and be honest, what have you got to lose?

NumptyNameChange Mon 24-Feb-14 07:33:59

roots not routes! though i like the latter too now i think about it.

alicemac83 Tue 25-Feb-14 15:28:36

Hi everyone, thanks for this. Since my original post I have cancelled the counselling, and have found a wonderful new lady. She uses the humanistic approach which I found much for comforting. She actually talked to me and gave me reasons for the depression coming on and emphathsied with how I was feeling, and reassured me that I would get better. I cried with relief when I came out because I really felt like she understood me xxx

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