Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Recently I found myself in a similar position to that of many clients who attend for counselling - isolated and stuck. The only difference being that I was literally part way up a rock face and feeling terrified on the first day of a climbing course. All I could think was, 'I don't want to be here, I'm afraid to look down.' However looking up at what was yet to come was overwhelming. So I stood on my ledge hugging a rock face in the hailstone and couldn’t move. When asked if I was okay the only words I could speak were 'I want to get off'.
The instructor replied 'Well you can'. The way in which those words were spoken was kind and brought about a change; there was no pressure. Instead I was given a choice and the permission to walk away.
The result was that I looked at the rock and thought 'it's just a rock, either way I have to move'. So as I do in my counselling room I took things a step at a time. I didn't look up and I didn't look down, Instead I focused on what was in front of me and started to move a little at a time. Eventually I reached the top and could breathe again.
What stayed with me from the experience was the similarities to when we are stuck with issues in our personal life. When things feel unsurmountable it can take just one voice in the darkness to say 'It's okay, I’ve got you. You don't have to do this alone'. The other similarity was allowing yourself to trust that one person with your deepest darkest feelings and occasionally your life before even starting to work with the problem. The counselling room is a safe place where clients are supported, emotionally held and helped to find their way over whichever pebble, rock or mountain that has landed in their path. This is what I strive to do for all the clients who come through my door.
Other reflections on the experience of counselling can be seen on the testimonial page of this website.