I have written a number of times on the need for better regulation of counselling and psychotherapy in the UK. Given our position, where anyone, regardless of qualifications can call themselves a coach, counsellor or psychotherapist, information is vital to allow clients to protect themselves. At a bare minimum clients need to know that a potential therapist is qualified, insured, and a member of a regulatory body. For me there is almost a protective desire to try to empower clients. I am reminded of how Carl Rogers (one of the founding giants of counselling) described the difference in power between therapist and client; A client enters into the counselling relationship vulnerable and incongurent, and meets with the therapist, who is authentic and congruent. That vulnerability is a part of the process, but also easy for the unscrupulous to exploit.
If (like me) you have spent your life denying or minimising or distracting yourself as a way to cope with your past – then actually FEELING things about what happened to you now that you are in therapy can feel overwhelming and can feel worse.
But it’s ok. It’s really ok. It’s part and parcel of facing the past – of thinking and processing the memories. It’s like you have had a festering boil of pain inside you that’s caused you problems and now you are taking the dirty dressing off and probing it – with the help of your Therapist – to let some of the pus out. And it hurts like hell. But it has to come out so that healing can begin. It will only continue to fester and cause you more problems in the long run.