Monthly Archives: March 2016

Re-framing our Lives and Counselling

I embarked on a cycle ride on Easter Monday. I had thought that Storm Katie had passed by and so I was now safe to go out. I hadn’t realised that I was actually cycling into the epicentre of the storm. The conditions worsened. The wind was gale force, at times knocking my bike so hard to the side that I almost ended up in a hedge. Hail stones started descending, stinging my face as they hurtled towards me. My hands, without gloves, began throbbing from the cold, an unrelenting pain, frozen fingers that were unable to move and properly grasp my handle bars. Added to this, some cars passed me by and, rather than stopping or slowing down to make sure that I was okay, they speeded past me even though I was struggling to keep a straight line on the road on my bike.

I arrived home feeling devastated and angered by what I perceived to be my own stupidity in going out in such undesirable weather conditions. I felt that somehow I had failed to have the positive experience that I had set out to have. These feelings lessened as I resolved to go out again in the coming days as soon as the weather got better. I went out again on the same route on a sunny and fresh day. I saw the first swallow of the season, I saw dancing hares, I heard birds communicating with each other and I appreciated the vast views all around me. Essentially, I had re-framed my cycling experience.

Counselling can help us to re-frame challenging life experiences that can leave us devastated. Seeking out counselling can be a bit like getting back on the road, exploring what has happened in one’s life, how you might re-evaluate this and then be able to move forward. As a counsellor I offer opportunity for re-framing personal experiences. This can be empowering as people are no longer necessarily stuck within a certain experiential interpretation of their lives. It is possible to re-evaluate life events and, I would argue, this can be key to moving on.

The Beauty of Walking and Talking in Counselling

Walking by its very nature can be therapeutic.  Walking can slow down time, we can lose ourselves in the moment of simply putting one foot infront of the other.  Walking can allow us to observe Mother Nature, the birds, flowers, trees, water.  We can listen to the sounds around us and appreciate the here and now.  When applying walking to therapy, this can help to break down barriers in that you can walk side by side with a counsellor and as result feel less awkward and embarrassed.  If you are a shy or a quiet person then walking next to a counsellor can help take off the pressure of having to say anything.  Simply walking and being in the moment can be enough.  It also helps that you don’t have to look at the counsellor’s face.  Walking can provide any conversation with a point of focus, something you see or hear or notice.  It can help break down any barriers to communication.  I enjoy the walk and talk sessions that I provide at Rutland Water because Rutland Water is such a beautiful and inspiring location.  The boats, birds, sheep and landscape are simply amazing and it can be deeply satisfying and therapeutic to walk along and talk at leisure, in a relaxed moment and setting.