Step 1: Google's "How to write a blog"
Step 2: Feel overwhelmed and give up.
Step 3: Google's "Easy way to write a blog"
Step 4 :See's lots of paid services and decide to wing it.
Right so first things first, I guess I should give a little bit of my background to ease into things. My name's Nathan, I'm a son, brother and partner. I love music, movies, tattoos and food. The most laid back overthinker going. I've been counselling in some form for 3 years but I have been self-employed for about 6 months. I've worked therapeutically within a number of different areas including mental health, rehabilitation, walk &talk therapy as well as working with survivors of rape and abuse. I've studied counselling for 4 years and psychology for 5 years before that. Psychology was my path in to counselling but I entered with a totally different mind set to what I have now. I've also worked as a support worker working in many sectors including mental health,learning difficulties, autism, ex-offenders and the homeless.
When I finished my degree I was disappointed with my grade, I felt I'd let myself and therefore everyone supporting me, down also. I tried not to show it too much but it bugged me. When studying I loved and despised my course. When we looked at how and why people interact in certain ways I was hooked. I was not so hooked to learn the parts of the ear in biological psychology. It was lost on me and this dragged my grade down. I was a little bit defeated but I knew that if I push myself with something I'm interested in I will do well.
In terms of career dreams I knew I wanted to work with people therapeutically but I could not settle on a direction. First I wanted to do play therapy but I was worried I would struggle when I have children of my own. Later I thought about working with young offenders but i thought i would be too judgemental. These ideas were deflated by concerns that no longer exist for me now. I am going to explore this development in a later blog post.
I began studying counselling with the idea of becoming a problem solver. I wanted to sit there and help people pick themselves apart and go "bingo! That's why you keep doing this." I saw counselling people as puzzles, being far enough away to be able to put two and two together and give them an answer. As I entered these new waters, the depth caught me off guard. There was a huge focus on reflection and looking at yourself. Now I always felt like I was a pretty carefree and not very troubled chap. I wasn't exactly wrong about this but I came to learn about an ever changing subject. Me.
We were encouraged to look at relationships, friendships, our own self-image, our personality traits. Now I wasn't a kid doing all this I was in my early twenties. I'd had ups and downs,loves and losses. I'd lived a life. However I felt myself change over my years of study.
I cared more about myself. It pushed me to leave jobs when I knew it was right. It's helped me navigate dating, relationships and breakups. It helped me recognize my limits and my needs. More importantly it made me realise that it's okay to have limits and needs. It helped me become a better support worker, friend and partner. It's helped me become a better version of me. And I'm still changing.
I've reached this point now where I'm delving into private practice. I've had many emotions tied to this fear, worry, excitement but right now I am enthused. I know what I can offer as a counsellor. I'm not aiming to be the perfect counsellor. What I want and what I hope I can be for each client is the right counsellor for them. I don't see people as puzzles anymore. There a person who's lived a life as complicated as mine with their own friends, family, ups and downs. I won't sit there and solve all Their problems. What I can offer is a safe space to explore their issues at their own pace. I will listen to them and I will feel for them. I will care but I will not judge. Through all of this I hope I can help them get what I got out of counselling.
If any of this appeals to you reach out and contact me and I can let you when you can book a session. And if not that's fine. Follow me on social media as it has become a key part of my practice. I share mental health and counselling related posts, articles and videos. I’m not the only one doing it but I feel like it's important to share all of these things. Whether its words of support, tackling stigma and myths or even sharing self-care tips and advice. You might find it useful.
Anyways I have to go pack for my holiday.
Take it easy