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.

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