“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
Thích Nhất Hạnh
The doorway into the world of counselling opened for me over 30 years ago when I attended a self-awareness course. I had just gone through a very difficult divorce which had knocked my confidence and my self-esteem had hit rock bottom. This course was life changing because it helped me to see that I could not only survive this painful situation but also gain a greater sense of self belief. I had somehow lost myself somewhere along the way and now realised that I would benefit from some further psychological support.
After I had spent a lengthy period of time receiving counselling I knew that I wanted to train as a counsellor. In 1993 I applied to Relate and I was accepted onto their training programme. To maintain my professional development I have undertaken further study at Brighton University and in 2009 I gained a FdSc degree in Person-Centred Counselling. During my time as a relationship counsellor my work also incorporated television and radio.
The relationship I have with my clients is very important to me, I truly believe in the work that I do and the benefits that can be gained from engaging in a supportive therapeutic relationship. I was very touched to receive the poem below from a client, expressing so eloquently how they had experienced our time together. I have been given their kind permission to share this poem as they (and I) hope it will encourage others to take that first step towards healing.
It began at the end.
I opened a door and you were there,
with unending patience and support,
to stand alongside me,
when life is too much to bear.
With grace and self belief you stand,
ready to listen through a sea of despair,
ready to hear the cry of the soul.
When all else is falling down,
you are there.
With unconditional faith you encourage,
the evolution of self-worth.
Allowing the mind to know you care,
it’s the smallest things you do,
that remind me you are there.
Your encircling arms
break through my barriers,
reach into my soul and touch me there.
Like the kindest amongst us,
you are rare.
Thank you, for being there.