My Initial Encounter with my Own Personal Counselling.

A Reflection on an Anxious Counselling Session.


Garry Ebrey. Diploma Counselling. Accredited Counsellor.

1/22/2024 3 min read

During my four years of counsellor training, I had the opportunity to experience 60 hours of personal counselling in the last two years of my counselling diploma. As part of the program requirements, it was necessary for my counsellor to be accredited or actively working towards accreditation.

Accreditation in the counselling field typically involves completing over 450 hours of client work. However, it is worth noting that not all counsellors who surpass this threshold choose to pursue accreditation. Some may opt to continue working towards it.

When it came time for me to find a counsellor for my personal counselling hours, I decided to approach my Level 2 and 3 tutor. Since she was no longer my tutor in my Level 4 course, I felt comfortable reaching out to her. I gave her a call, and fortunately, she agreed to be my counsellor.

Having already established a good connection with my tutor during previous courses, I felt confident that she would provide me with the support and guidance I needed during my personal counselling sessions. Trust and rapport are essential elements in the counselling relationship, and I was fortunate to have already developed these with my chosen counsellor.

Once we had agreed to work together, my tutor sent me the necessary paperwork and consent forms to complete before our first session. This paperwork included information about confidentiality, boundaries, and the goals I wanted to achieve through counselling.

Having my counselling session on my day off seemed like a good idea at first. I thought it would provide me with ample time to reflect and process my thoughts. However, it turned out to be a different experience altogether, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and anxious. On a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 represents calmness and 10 signifies high anxiety, my anxiety levels skyrocketed to around 99.

My ex-tutor, who had now become my counsellor, greeted me and invited me into her counselling room. We both settled down, and she asked me a simple yet profound question, "What brings you to counselling?"

At that moment, I felt a wave of emotions rushing through me. I began expressing my thoughts and emotions, pouring out my anxieties and concerns. What struck me the most was my counsellor's approach. She listened attentively, allowing me the space and time to gather myself. Throughout our conversation, she never interrupted or passed judgment on my feelings.

This non-judgmental and empathetic environment created by my counsellor played a crucial role in my ability to open up and share. Knowing that I was not being pressured to stop or judged allowed me to delve deeper into my emotions. It was a liberating experience to be heard and understood without any preconceived notions or biases.

During the session, my counsellor's presence was calm and reassuring. She provided a safe space where I could explore my anxieties and fears without fear of being criticized or dismissed. Her demeanour helped to alleviate some of the anxiety I had initially brought into the session.

As the session progressed, I found myself gradually regaining a sense of composure. The act of expressing my emotions and being met with empathy and understanding allowed me to gain a fresh perspective on my concerns. My counsellor's guidance and support helped me to reframe my thoughts and develop coping mechanisms to manage my anxiety.

While the session itself was initially overwhelming, it ultimately proved to be a valuable experience. It highlighted the importance of finding a counsellor who creates a safe and non-judgmental space for clients to express themselves. The ability to freely share our thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment is an integral part of the therapeutic process.

In conclusion, my counselling session on my day off took an unexpected turn, leading to heightened anxiety levels. However, the compassionate and understanding approach of my counsellor allowed me to navigate through my anxieties and gain valuable insights. This experience served as a reminder of the significance of a supportive and empathetic therapeutic environment.
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