Wednesday 14 December 2011

This was written down in the United States

"Well, the Lone Ranger and Tonto
They're ridin' down the line
Fixin’ everybody’s troubles
Everybody’s ’cept mine
Somebody musta told ’em
That I was doin’ fine"

Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan's Blues
Everybody likes to be nice and helpful. It's a good feeling to help someone out, or even feel that you've done your best to try. Of course, even if the problems are very similar to your own, solving them - even helping to solve them - is a very different proposition. This week I've been doing a bit of troubleshootin' and shoulderwork myself. I feel good about that. But it's made me realise I'm a hypocrite if I then don't also try and address the same things in myself.

I've been thinking a lot about counselling recently, mainly due to my friend Nina's brilliant new blog on the subject which I have mentioned here before, but also because a number of my friends have told me about their positive experiences of it in the past year or so. Not only have I heard about their positive experiences, I have also seen and felt its beneficial effects in them.

I've had experiences of counselling in the past, but they've all been negative and unhelpful. I'm sure as much of the failures were my fault as they were the fault of the people involved. Nevertheless, failures they were. The most recent of these was in 2002, which as mathematics professors everywhere will be able to tell you is nearly 10 years ago. A person can change a lot in ten years, especially if 10 years ago you were 22 years old and as such thought you knew everything. These days I'm far less dismissive of anything, knowing full well that things have a way of coming back round in circles and if you're too cocky, of biting you on the arse.

My concern is that it will be too difficult to find the right person. I know that the right counsellor or right approach is out there for me somewhere, or rather, that is what I now choose to believe. It's not a friend you want. I want someone outside of that, someone who can ask and be told things that I'd not necessarily be comfortable sharing with people I know. However, I also want them to be someone who I feel I can trust, whom I respect and someone who actually cares.

Like a friend.

I hope this guardian angel exists out there somewhere, because I think I owe it to myself to try and find them in 2012. Even if only to address my impossibly high expectations of people and of things.


Fran said...

Maybe you can start by writing a list of what you don't want or what hasn't worked for you in the past? Sometimes that can help figure out the gaps - almost like looking at it from another angle.

It is hard to find a person you trust and respect, but from my own experience it is possible.

I actually went off a recommendation from a friend - but then I was in a position where I could pay for it, which I have to say probably makes it a bit easier - because at least then you can choose to go elsewhere. With the NHS I guess you don't have as much choice which can make it much harder.

But having said that - I know people who have started out really disliking their counsellors and thinking it's a complete waste of time - yet they stuck with it and saw real benefits. Half the battle is allowing yourself to actually face your demons rather than when things get ugly, running away or deciding it's all a waste of time. It's a toughie.

And also, for the record you have been absolutely bloody brilliant this week - such lovely warm words and advice for a friend in need. I hope I can offer you the same in return.xx

dotmund said...

Thank you Fran, this is a lovely comment full of good things :)

Miss Tame said...

I've been meaning to reply to this for ages...Well at least two days.

This is a good thing Edvardooooo. And I agree with what Fran said. Give it a good shot before deciding. That click I feel with my clients sometimes happens straight away, sometimes it takes 3 or four sessions.

This is a good place to start or recos from friends are good too.

Also you said you've not been for ten years well that means there's a whole gaggle of new counsellors out there just waiting for you!!!


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