The joy of text

As a private therapist in lockdown, I have really been pushed outside of my comfort zone (in a good way)! in finding alternative ways of working that do not involve face to face client contact. The challenge has been in continuing to offer an ethical service, for example, by checking the privacy policies of various platforms, which can be a bit of a minefield.
I now offer counselling via any platform and being person centred, it’s the individual client’s choice. Clients in lockdown with other members of their household have found privacy to be an issue. I have managed to overcome this by providing a counselling service by text. Although a little apprehensive at first, we trialled it and based on how I feel and client feedback,it’s working extremely well.
The written word is very powerful, an act of reflection, the thought that was once in your head is now ‘out there’,a first level of distance is achieved between ‘I’ and the issue. The difficult feeling is captured, in black and white, allowing it to be processed.
Typing out your feelings slows down the thought process enough for your own personal insights to begin to emerge. (Notice that you can speak much faster than you can type)! Add in any insights that the therapist has and that makes for a powerful catalyst to change.
As a therapist in private practice, I’m no longer restricted to only working with clients within a reasonable geographical distance, my current clients are based all over the country. It works both ways, I have secured the services of an outstanding therapist myself (yes, therapists need therapy too and it’s encouraged as part of our self care due to the demands of the job).
I am surprised at how quickly I am able to build up a relationship with the client via text, I respond intuitively, it just works somehow.

And another. Counselling really does change lives …

‘Morning nic

Thanks again for what you’re doing for me
You probably don’t realise how much it’s helping.
Also I’ve got a mate I’m going to put your way.
That would be ok wouldn’t it?
And you’ll need to buy wine after speaking to me..haha. I’m not sure if you drink wine nic but I’ve just pinged you £15 over to get a bottle of wine from me for your time this morning.
Have a wicked weekend nic.

You’re a legend!

Enjoy your weekend

Thanks again x’

Client’s often ask me ‘where do I go with this pain I’m suffering right now?’

Client’s often ask me ‘where do I go with this pain I’m suffering right now?’ And it’s easy to reach for a bottle of wine, junk food, retail therapy, illicit substances, or whatever it is that provides comfort in the moment. But these are only short term solutions to perhaps longer term issues. My belief is that there is a better, healthier way that can open up opportunities for tremendous personal growth, or post traumatic growth (as opposed to post traumatic stress or PDSD). So I would say, try to sit with the feeling that you have (it’s painful, that’s the point). Sit with the feeling, however it presents itself, be it a wave of grief or loss, a fear, an emptiness inside of you, and accept it for whatever it may be. It’s ok to feel your feelings, to cry or whatever form it takes (although some of us grow up being told otherwise). Look inwards and consider what this feeling is communicating to you. Just what is it that it’s trying to say? If you are familiar with meditation and mindfulness techniques perhaps bring your focus to the breath. This will calm and slow your thoughts to allow enough space for perhaps some new personal insights to emerge. Observe any change in the body and in the feeling, has it moved, got smaller, changed completely? Has it left? Notice you have survived.

This short article is inspired by a session with a client who is making tremendous progress.