Counselling? It’s a Load of Old Bull…!
It can be, Counselling can be a load of old bull, like some dentists don’t numb your teeth properly and then start before you are ready, or some GPs keep checking their watch, or the computer monitor so that you feel like an infringement on their time, some counsellors nod off….
Seriously it’s not unknown, that’s taking the “listening” part of counselling to an extreme or is it? Because obviously they are not listening if they nod off, they are sleeping….
Whilst we are on the subject of nodding – I think the worst kind, the most infuriating and the most insincere, are the ones who nod with their heads on one side, but they don’t contribute at all, they just nod…. That’s what clients often tell me when they first come to see me, what they don’t want - and navel gazing and nodding are high on the list. You can see why - what’s wrong with good old fashioned writing it down if you are not going to get any input?
Why would you hand over your hard earned cash to be nodded at, when you can stay at home with a nice piece of clean white paper and spill out your heart without interruption, interpretation or challenge?
Now that’s a subject which probably needs a whole topic of its own – challenge. Is there a place in counselling for “pulling up your socks”? Well certainly the counsellor who fell asleep in session could definitely do with pulling up her socks (and maybe with addressing her circadian rhythms) but is there a place in counselling for a counsellor to suggest that pulling up socks may be the way forward for their client?
I suggest it may be that first of all we look at the socks, are they socks? And if they are socks – do they need to be socks? Could they be bandages or fillers for shoes? And are they better being left wrinkled and down, staying close to the shoe, rather than being pulled up and exposed and a target for car spray, splashes and puddles?
I think you get my drift, one size doesn’t fit all and we need to be infinitely adaptable sensitive and aware of what’s going on with our clients, sometimes our clients need to be heard, sometimes our clients need to vent, sometimes to be helped to delicately unpick what it is that’s happening for them, our job is to follow them and sometimes that may mean stopping and saying I’m not sure that’s the best way to go – what about this way, can we follow this path, is it too rocky, is it too wild, if I hold your hand does it help?
If we don’t contribute, if we don’t get things, if we don’t reframe it, if we don’t change it, if we don’t in other words, earn our hourly fee – we really, really don’t deserve to be there …. And then perhaps nodding off is the best we can do…