Mental Health & Wellbeing Matters: talking about counselling

Coffee image for Film Stories' regular mental health column
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In our regular mental health spot, a few words about counselling, but mainly about talking about counselling too.

Hello and a very warm welcome to the spot on our site where we stop every week to chat about mental health, wellbeing, and the things that may be affecting us, or the people around us. We offer no miracle cures, just the chance for a breathe out and a chat. Hopefully though, over the course of this series of articles – and crikey, we’ve been going for years – there’s something that might be of use.

I wanted to talk about counselling this week. More to the point, talking about talking about counselling.

I’ve had a couple of conversations with people over the last few weeks where, out of the blue, they’ve voluntarily started talking about the fact that they’re seeing a counsellor. This gladdened my heart so much. Not the fact that life’s circumstances had led them to that point, necessarily, but more that some of the stigma around the subject is being lifted.

Ten years ago, the thought that people could openly talking about seeing a counsellor was almost unheard of. Perhaps if you’d gone through something terrible that people were very aware of it might be talked about. But otherwise, it was in the drawer marked ‘not to be talked about’.

It’s only a guess, of course, but I’d imagine that around a quarter of the people I know who talk regularly to a counsellor are more open about it. Some, entirely fairly and understandably, still want to keep things behind closed doors. I get and respect that.

I also believe that should someone want to talk about the fact they’re seeing a counsellor though, that they should be able to freely do so, without judgements instantly being formed. What we do and how we act as adults is passed along in some form to the generation behind us, and there’s been a lot of groundbreaking going on in that regard. Things that wouldn’t be talked about when I was growing up are now everyday conversation. There are pros and cons to that of course, but in my mind, pros are winning by some distance. Opening up matters.

I think it’s a real step to seek counselling support. I think it’s a huge, positive thing to look for help. I think it’s ridiculous that it’s ever been a stigma. If we can make conversations about counselling a lot more matter of fact, that I think we don’t just make life a little better for our generation, we improve it for the one following.

Take care all, and thank you – as always – for reading.

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