I was laughing with somebody yesterday about how I have been procrastinating about writing this post and particularly using the photo above. The utter irony eh...?!!!
You see for many, many years I have worried about what people think about me. Whether as a child, a teenager or when I became an adult (allegedly). Inside of me, resides my Inner Child and my two daughters will attest to that. It’s why I enjoyed working in care homes supporting Young People and in a High School. I remember what it was like to be a scared, worried Child and Teenager, therefore being able to more easily connect with how they were feeling.
That Inner Child though, has thought and has always been anxious, about what people think about me. The fact is they will think what they like and I have found that one of the wonderful benefits of getting older is that I am becoming gradually, less concerned about what people think.
I have driven myself nuts over the years by fighting my fears. Like Peter Kay jokes, “It’s been like having a steering wheel down my underpants....!!!”
THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMOUR
So, from now on, my humour, which as some of my friends and family will say, is dry, some will say is childish and some would say, that it’s not funny, will be expressed in my posts. (It’s all borrowed from Tim Vine anyway...!!!).
Humour changes brain chemical states. It isn’t fully appreciated and its use by members for the Armed Forces and Emergency Services, serves a purpose and helps with their resilience, ability to reflect and cope with very challenging scenarios.
My future posts will not just be earnest, passionate posts which will question why Mental Health provision is so far down on many politician’s priorities. Why there isn’t proper recognition that countless numbers of homeless people and prisoners are suffering from untreated mental illness. Why anyone in this country, one of the world’s leading economies should be homeless anyway, in my opinion.
(This is not a political post; I’m annoyed with all parties. Not enough is being done to initiate change and improve the lives of all).
I will say that I think Donald Trump, in my opinion, is probably the dumbest, crassest individual ever to become President. However, if any of my clients love him then I can still support them because it is about having respect for their opinion.
I will also counsel Manchester United fans and at one point, a few weeks ago, I was inundated with lots of them wondering how they were going to get through the season....!!
(Before I get lambasted, although if anyone wants to lambast they can ..my Dad was a huge Utd fan and my Uncle still is. I only have to watch something about the Busby Babes and I remember my Dad. I have respect for all views....I may not agree with them because I am not a robot but a living human being who knows when he is watching a man on the tv news with a lack of morals, principles and respect for his fellow men and particularly, women).
This forthright post may result in some people thinking that they will not want to have counselling with myself and that is fine because it’s important that I am authentic. Those people will find counsellors that they feel they can connect with.
I have a work history of being able to connect with people from all backgrounds and all levels.
However, to continue to follow the path of trying to be all things to all men and women is a path that although, well trodden, can lead to being false, is also tiring and exhausting.
My clients if they wish, can swear in the sessions. It’s not a pre-requisite of attending though and if people don’t want to then that is fine...!!!
However, I want my clients to be themselves in the sessions because that is important.
I, in turn, will be me. Genuine, authentic, empathic, understanding and committed to improving people’s mental health. Someone who re-trained because he had undergone difficult times. Enduring depression, anxiety, burnout, bereavement and divorce.
CHANGING THE PERCEPTION OF COUNSELLING
Counselling in many ways, I believe, is long overdue for a shift into this century. The misconception that every counsellor has a chaise longue, looks life Sigmund Freud or wears a kaftan, is incorrect.... for a start, I don’t have a chaise longue...
How many people are put off from seeing a counsellor because they have the misconception that the counsellor may be aloof, unapproachable and that the client will be made to feel embarrassed for being how they are?
I had one session with such a counsellor years ago before I re-trained and nearly didn’t visit the counsellor who changed how I perceived the profession and who I decided I wanted to emulate.
This counsellor is not Your Expert.
I will provide a space where you can talk and I will listen. Trust will be built and your faith in yourself and your future, can be restored.
(In fact, I don’t know whether I like the word ‘Counsellor’. It is reminiscent of other job titles that give the impression that I am an expert. You are, as I wrote earlier, your own expert).
I have set up Counselling Minds because frankly, I needed to not continue to work for an organisation that I didn’t believe in anymore. So, instead of moaning about it everyday, it was time to face my fears about change, of which there have been many and to tell those fears to go and ‘do one’.....!!!
I look forward to helping other people telling their fears where to go too.
Thanks for reading!
*With apologies to Edwin Starr...