When I first went to see Jill I wasn’t sure what to expect from a counsellor. Being an avid reader of crime fiction I was expecting lots of stuff about my relationship with my mother, and “How do you feel about that?” being repeated like a mantra.Actually what I got was a calm, approachable and (most importantly) normal person who spoke to me about what I felt, how I felt about it, and what I wanted to get out of the sessions.I never felt pressured to talk about anything I didn’t feel comfortable with, and the sessions went at my own pace. Jill was kind and professional throughout, making me feel at ease. If we didn’t go through something one week, Jill would ask me about it the next week, so I Never felt like I had to get everything out in one session or the chance would be gone.Many people ask me “What is the point in counselling?” and “I won’t see results in one session, so what’s the point?” Honestly you could ask that about driving, cooking or tying your shoe laces. Counselling isn’t a quick fix, nor will it fix everything. What it will do is enable you to cope on your own with situations in the future.When I first spoke to Jill one of the things I wanted to do was be more spontaneous - how I used to be before anxiety made me think twice before leaving the house. I still struggle with that anxiety, but it’s more like a steep slope with a picturesque view at the top than an impassable cliff with people throwing rocks from above. More importantly I don’t feel embarrassed about it. Sure it’s not something I want to shout from the rooftops - the part of me that hates to admit weakness still needs some taming - but I told my girlfriend about it without the toxic shame that I used to feel, and my willingness to share the “darker” parts of myself actually brought us closer, and made her feel more able to confide in me.I am writing this review after coming back from a lovely holiday, something that I would have been terrified about before. The next one is booked for November, and I’m looking forward to that with no trepidation whatsoever.Whenever I thanked Jill for what she’d done in the sessions she kept telling me it was all my own work or something like that. While that may have been true, it would have been impossible without her gentle assistance.Thank you so much Jill, and to anyone reading this, don’t let the stigma that unfortunately still surrounds counselling be a barrier to your happiness!
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