HELLO. Welcome to my blog, Therapy for Everyone. Without repeating word-for-word what is outlined in the 'about' section of this blog, let me give you, lovely reader, a lil' summary of what to expect from this blog and dish out the deets on me!
So, as indicated by the name, this blog aims to provide an accessible form of therapy for anyone who needs it, or, more importantly, who doesn't even know they need it. When you hear the word 'therapy' or 'counselling' a lot of inaccurate connotations arise based on outdated stereotypes and unfounded stigmas. It is not, or does not have to be, a person laying on a reclining chaise longue divulging the crises of their life to a sagacious elder. Today, therapy can simply encompass talking and listening; having a meaningful conversation in which you are truly heard and not judged. In many cases (especially with existential therapy- more of that to come) the aim is to assist people in making sense of their lives, or (especially with person-centred therapy), to empower them to be the best version of themselves. And that is why therapy or counselling is suitable, and, in fact, necessary, for everyone.
So, what brought me to create this blog? Well, firstly, an important disclosure: I am not a counsellor or a therapist. I am 22 years old and currently training to be a qualified counsellor. In January I completed the Level 1 Certificate in counselling, and by June of this year I will have the Level 2 and Level 3 certificate under my belt, preparing me to complete the diploma in counselling. With the diploma I hope to become a clinically trained therapist, and one day even become a psychiatrist (see below for clarification on the difference between these roles).
By sharing all that I discover on my journey to become these things, I plan to normalise the concept of therapy and eradicate the shame and judgement often surrounding it. I want people to be able to boast about the fact that they are seeking therapy and taking the time to look after their mind, make sense of life and better themselves.
Having grown up with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I want to dedicate my life to preventing people from feeling as confused, alone and hopeless as I often did. It wasn't until I was 20 years old, at university, that I sought professional help for my mental illnesses. I cannot explain the relief I felt in finally being able to talk to someone about what I was going through! It was in being both supported and challenged by my therapist that I was able to (mostly) conquer my OCD. My anxiety, on the other hand, was a more obstinate beast and unfortunately still controls a lot of my life today. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy I received was only mildly successful at quelling the anxiety, but I realise now, that I was not at that time quite ready to part with my anxious tendencies.
Training to become a counsellor has, and will continue, to involve an enormous amount of self-discovery. I have learnt just as much in training to be a counsellor as I have in being counselled. And it is this precious knowledge that I plan to share with you. From the negative impact of New Year's Resolutions; coming to terms with imperfection; the wonders of Existential Therapy; communicating effectively; utilising one's strengths; demystifying psychotherapy; exploring the biology of the brain (particularly when it goes wrong); accepting acceptance; the fear of living; the power of introverts and the truth behind self-esteem, join me in my journey to become a therapist and let me help you to help yourself live more successfully by better understanding yourself and this crazy, crazy world we inhabit.
(Wow that's a wild claim, no pressure, Abi.)