I think expectation is a big thing for a lot of people; of how life should be, how our partner should be, what we deserve, or don’t deserve.

I’ve learnt a lot about my own expectations over the years as a parent. Going through changes with my own children, you soon realise at the end of the day, it’s the relationship you want – and the rest you can work through.

I have done a lot of counselling over the years and my main philosophy is to work in the same way I would like someone to work with me. The language that we use is very important, how we frame what the client is wanting to say. It’s about tuning into that person instead of telling them what I think. Asking them, have I got that right? Does that resonate? Do I have that wrong? When you go into a space of counselling, there are already all these influences. I don’t want to influence them in any way that takes them away from what they are experiencing.

Counselling  is  a  bit  like  that  activity;  join  the  dots.   Where  you  start  at  one  dot  and  go around the picture.  You’ve just got to tune in and go where it goes and follow the journey.  I make sure I am mindful of how I’m feeling as well.  I’ve got to be mindful that stuff can come up for me.  I make sure I acknowledge that, be kind to myself andsometimes, take a few breaths.

I think getting things on the table is helpful because you are making sense of it.  If we do talk about our past experiences, it’s about ensuring that the person is feeling safe enough to  go  back  into  that  space,  being  mindful  of  the  impact  of  trauma.    It  can  be  very overwhelming, and they may not be resourced to go there. 

I have been through my own journey of capacity building and self-worth and it can be a lonely place.  That’s one of the reasons why I got into counselling because I wanted to give back.

It has purpose, and is so rewarding, so many stories and moments.   A couple I’ve been working with for 12 months had their last session yesterday.  It was so good to see how they have become closer over the sessions; they were leaning in and checking in with one  another.   When  they  first  came,  they  were  walking  on  eggshells.   There  was  name calling, frustration and just so much disappointment and hurt.  To see that change is really a great feeling.  I always invite feedback about how the sessions worked for them.  What was helpful, what wasn’t helpful.  It also helps me to reflect and learn from them.  Afterall, I’m not the expert in their relationship - they are.