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Having a wobble re counselling - do they do more harm than good?

(18 Posts)
sb9 Sat 29-Aug-09 12:02:45

As the title says. My counseller has brought up some feelings from the past and i fel so down. Wondering if all of this is worth it, at the moment is making me feel a hell of a lot worse. How can it help to realise you are angry at people etc....

phdlife Sat 29-Aug-09 12:21:15

sb I had a fab counsellor when I was in my 20s who said counselling worked like cleaning out a bucket that was quite manky and all the painful feelings had settled to the bottom. When you stirred it up it got worse but as it flowed out you should start to feel better.

That said, a counsellor who allows you to feel lost may not be helping as much as s/he could, and it's worth discussing this question with them. I think it's very important to find the right counsellor, one that helps you feel confident about why you're there and what you're aiming to gain from the process.


sb9 Sat 29-Aug-09 12:29:47

My first counsellor left me feeling so angry and lost and i am now with a new one who i do think is so much better. The explanantion you gave was great, did it work for you then?
Im definately at the stage of stirring it all up, its really difficult! I mean you just think what am i to do with of this?!

phdlife Sat 29-Aug-09 12:44:21

mmm guess that first one must've inspired confidence as I've been back a few times since, though I'm always incredibly impatient and want to feel better Right Now. They always have to remind me it takes time...

"what am i to do with of this?!"

I think that's the million-dollar question, sb!

gtg, bedtime. good luck with it all

morningpaper Sat 29-Aug-09 12:47:38

Counselling WILL make you feel worse to begin with

All the crap in your head is like toxic waste - you've buried it and hope it will go away but it's leaking out all over the other parts of your life, slowing making things toxic and unpleasant

The only way to deal with it is bring it to teh surface - and that's really hard because you really want it buried

But you need to bring it to the surface and confront it so that you can dispose of it all properly

Then the sea of your mind will be clean

Well that's the best analagy I can come up with at the moment

Counselling saved my life, I'd really recommend it

ladylush Sat 29-Aug-09 12:58:28

Counselling can be immensely therapeutic but you really do have to feel comfortable and safe with the counsellor. That's not to say that the counsellor won't push boundaries in order to unearth stuff you'd rather bury - that's kind of the point of it isn't it. But there must be a therapeutic alliance between you and the counsellor otherwise the therapy will not work. I think often people think any counsellor will be able to help them (in the same way that many patients do not realise there are many different anti-depressants and if one doesn't work they can try another. Maybe you could talk over these feelings with your counsellor in the next session and see if you can work through it together. If not, maybe you could look for another therapist.

sb9 Mon 31-Aug-09 19:29:03

Thanks, no this second one I am going to does give me a good feeling that this will work, its just a wobble and its good to hear from others that it does help. I suppose i have to go through this cr*p first!! I will definately keep updating on progress incase it helps anyone else as if it helps me then i will def recommend it!

Hormonesnomore Mon 31-Aug-09 19:36:07

I think you really have to have lots of feedback for counselling to be effective & rewarding. I've been to counsellors who sit & listen and leave me feeling worse as I've dug up all the shit I'd rather forget & I don't know what to do with it when it's out in the open iyswim.

I think sometimes you have to try a few to find one who will give you the support & encouragement you need - without just telling you what you want to hear.

I hope your counselling is successful for you sb9.

twoisplenty Mon 31-Aug-09 21:43:12

I could have written this post myself (I nearly did) because I have had 5 counselling sessions, and atm I feel very bad, and very low.

I am so anxious too, and can't seem to focus on anything normal, just going over and over unpleasant things in my mind.

In a way, I can't wait to see the counsellor again, on Thursday, to tell her how I an feeling, so she can help me to put things in perspective.

I think of counselling as wading into deep water, but once I am in so far, I cannot go back, I must be brave and get to the other side (where things are calm and lovely!) She did warn me that I would have unpleasant feelings,but reassured me that she would help me get to a better place.

Hope things work out for you. Keep posting, and tell us how you are doing.


sb9 Tue 01-Sep-09 12:13:58

"I think you really have to have lots of feedback for counselling to be effective & rewarding"

My first counsellor tended just to listen and not say much apart from the same sorts of things, the one i have seen now 4 times asks questions and speaks more which is why i think she will be better. I feel the first one brought it all to the surface but left me with it. Am hoping that this did help in so much that she did bring a lot out and now this new lady can help further. You dont know what they are supposed to be doing so it is easy to see why you get lost in it.
Its also hard as they are only hearing what I am saying and someone like me suffers from low sefl esteem so i keep questioning myself and saying ' oh it wasnt that bad' or thinking that i deserved hurtful behaviour.

Got another session this week so am looking forward to that. Hope your session goes well twoisplenty ;)

giveloveachance Tue 01-Sep-09 12:28:36

I think it really does depend on the counsellor, they are all very different. Like other posters have said, if you don't feel entirely comfortable with that person may you should change.

Old hurts will resurface and can make you relive them so feel worse - the counsellor should help you deal with these feelings. They often wont give specific advice or offer any judgement - but don't feel like you can't ask them questions.

SB9 has a point - if yoy are left blaiming your self and making your self esteem even worse, then the counsellor is not helping you. I had one like this for a while and I kept making excuses and blaming myself, I felt she was clock watching for most of the time. Others have been good and have helped. Still have shockingly low self esteem though, always doubting myself and thinking no one likes me, fearful to invite anyone over in case they say no and therefore reinfornce my fear that no one likes me. Maybe I should go again too. Need a counsellor who will let me know how to make friends!!

Good luck and keep at it.

ladylush Tue 01-Sep-09 13:09:12

Rogerian/Humanist counselling is based on giving unconditional positive regard - so lots of feedback. If you have low self-esteem it is imo a particularly helpful type of therapy.

sb9 Wed 02-Sep-09 20:15:38

Just been for my session, one thing i find hard though is when they ask 'how did you feel about that...' when it was when you were a child. Its very hard to know how you felt as it was so long ago. I know how i feel as an adult about things but very difficult, anyone else have this?

giveloveachance Thu 03-Sep-09 15:50:12

Yes, Its difficult as you look back and perhaps your memory or perceptions of a situation are changed as you now view it from an adults perspective. Hopefully a good counselor will be able to guide you through this.

I had the problem with never really being able to say how I felt, as I was too busy trying to get through the situations, to take time to think about it.

sb9 Thu 03-Sep-09 19:23:30

I dont think i even knew how i felt at the time. I find some of the work a bit odd though as I mentioned that when i was small my parents arguing and i came downstairs playing a harmonica between them so they would shut up. The counsellor said that it was was like i didnt want to hear or know that my family were arguing and maybe thats why i dont remember things as i was trying to block it out. Yes I can see this or is this just the counsellor linking what they can to something?

You will have to excuse me as i am not untrusting but i suppose whats on my mind is this... (here is an example which is the only way i can describe what i mean so bear with me)
If you go to a clair voyant and they ask you qquestions and then link things to what you are saying, you think what they say is true and amazing etc etc, i am just scared of this senario. I know it might sound odd but i hope you understand what i mean lol!

ladylush Fri 04-Sep-09 10:38:57

Yeah sometimes it can be bullshit. You will know when they have hit on something though as it will start to click iyswim

sb9 Fri 04-Sep-09 19:01:54

iyswim - what does that mean?

I know i feel like the one i had last time was a bit like that, i mean one week i went and had a really bad cough and was choking, she said its like you are choking on your words its so hard to get out etc. I was thinking, no Im choking!!

ladylush Fri 04-Sep-09 23:11:53

if you see what I mean smile - mumsnet shorthand grin

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