Thoughts on counselling
Here are a few of my thoughts on counselling.
How you feel about yourself
Remember MS is a progressive disease and counselling does not provide an instant cure. Therapy or counselling can give you a chance to adapt your coping strategy. It is a chance to talk and to change your mind-set. Change how you feel about yourself.
Counselling gives people a chance
Counselling can give you a chance to grieve for losses caused by the MS. It gives you an opportunity to sort out what has been lost. Let go of these memories. Find out what remains and how to make the best use of it. I had to give up my career as a computer consultant, Now I want to increase awareness of MS, what can make life better, as well help from this website. Counselling helped me to shut one door and open another.
Counsellors do not usually give advice
A progressive disease and a disabling disease will also affect the people around you. These people are almost bound to be your nearest and dearest. They do not want you offloading your problems onto them; they have enough of their own already. You need to find a different space and place to discuss your life and your problems.
The counsellor needs to be someone you can connect with. You must have complete confidence in them. Talking to your counsellor is a time when you can discuss anything. Usually you meet weekly for an hour. There might be emotional problems or mental problems that need to be talked through. They will listen to what you say and then comment on it based on their experience and professional expertise.
The counsellor’s function is to give you an opportunity to talk about your disability. Bringing the problem into the open will help you to find a way to cope with it and make your life easier.
Another thing to remember is that counselling is not an instant cure in the way that antibiotics can clear up an infection in a few days. You may well end up going to the counsellor for several months or even several years.
A disability is like bereavement, a part of you is being lost forever. You will need help to re-evaluate your new lifestyle. Find a way that puts you in control. A progressive disease means that you must constantly examine and re-evaluate your capabilities. ‘Nil carborundum’ or in English ‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down’. I find this a very useful motto when looking at my problems
Counselling will not make the disability go away
Good counselling can make you mentally stronger and therefore more capable of dealing with setbacks from a progressive disease. A counsellor can help you to change your mind-set, help you to review your pre set ideas of success and failure and to change the way you think other people see you.
Does it help?
It may well change the way you lead your life. If you are less anxious or worried or self-absorbed then you are less of a burden to live with. People will want to be with you. You become more enjoyable to live with, you can even provide support for other people in your life.
If you have a progressive and disabling disease counselling can help you to get your life back on an even keel. Many counsellors will offer the first session for free or at a reduced price.