I decided to research and find my own counsellor rather than as previously where I had been referred by my GP. This was how I found Jill and after speaking with her over the phone first I felt confident starting sessions was the right move for me. It was the best thing I have ever done for my mental wellbeing. I have suffered with periods of low mood and low self-esteem for such a long time it had just become normal – occasionally spiking into periods of depression or high anxiety and I had tried various things before with mixed success; self-medication, GP prescribed meds, work referrals to a limited number of counselling sessions. None of them really helped with the long term issue but did on occasion provide some instant relief. I managed to come off the prescribed (and un-prescribed) medication but found I replaced them with comfort food and poor spending habits however these being more socially acceptable I resigned myself to accepting this as my way of life. It wasn’t until I went through a series of difficult life events (I had a difficult birth with my first child that left him fighting for his life and then I was subsequently diagnosed with cancer) that I realised I was no longer satisfied to drift aimlessly through my (now precious) life. The GP could only offer CBT (2 sessions maximum!) or more antidepressants but I did not want to spend another 5 years trying to wean off anti-depressants and although I think CBT is great to get out of the immediate malaise and start functioning on the most basic of levels (maintaining personal care) it has never really helped me to resolve deep seated issues. I decided to take my future wellbeing into my own hands and looked into private non-time restricted counselling with a practitioner that was flexible in their counselling style and techniques.I don’t know all the correct terminology used in the counselling profession for all the different styles and techniques but I have felt the restriction of working with someone who favours one or two styles and rarely deviates. Jill seemed to move fluidly with me through the issues I had adapting her communication style to suit the subject matter or the moment, everything felt very comfortable and when thought patterns or statements I made were challenged and looked at more closely, it felt appropriate and relevant. Yes it was hard work but for such good reasons and for such good results and the environment was a safe one in which to discuss and challenge some very entrenched beliefs.I have benefitted so much from my sessions with Jill and found the last session particularly rewarding where Jill recapped all the things we had worked through and discussed ways in which I could continue to nurture my wellbeing after finishing my counselling.I would definitely recommend Jill to anyone who feels they would benefit from looking really deeply at themselves and challenging any negative thoughts or beliefs they may have that are restricting personal wellbeing and growth.
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