Never has there been a better time to enter a career in counselling. I can think of three good reasons why this is the case:
- The rise of the Shadow side of humanity
There’s a feeling in the air that the times are changing and that more than ever, people are in need of therapy. Why should this be? It seems that the ‘shadow’ side of humanity is rising. That is to say, the darker, more negative part of what it is to be human seems to be emerging and becoming a more accepted norm in many societies, including our own.
How does the Shadow reveal itself? It shows up in fear, it shows up in greed, it shows up in envy and it shows up in the more negative aspects of the Ego. We are seeing more and more literature and research on subjects such as Narcissism and perhaps more commonly, ‘toxic’ people. This is an example of how we are beginning to bring into awareness these aspects of the self. Perhaps this aspect of human nature has always existed and perhaps we are just more aware of their existence now. With awareness then, the opposite of these aspects of humanity can finally emerge too. This means that as a result, those of us who want to live in a peaceful, humane world, have something to rise up against when the Shadow rears its ugly head.
In other words, once we know what we’re up against, we more easily feel into our sense of injustice and therefore we are then able to do something about it.
I see counselling as part of a quiet revolution that is taking place.
Counselling carries the torch that represents a noble quest to dig deeply into what it is to be human; to call out the Shadow from the deep dark recesses of the psyche so that it can be seen, confronted and accepted. Only then can the Shadow release its grip on its host.
Counselling goes where others fear to tread. It doesn’t shy away from looking at all aspects of what makes us human; it invites a process of change that honours all of who we are and understands all too well the rocky road to mental wellness.
- The rise of depression, anxiety and addiction in young people and adults
I’m sure we can all agree that the instances of depression and anxiety seem to be on the rise. In 2014, The Mental Health Foundation found that 1 in every 6 adults experiences a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression and that 1 in 5 adults has considered taking their own life at some point. This, despite us never having had so many opportunities in life, access to social connections via social media, and other options that our ancestors never had. So why is this the case?
Reasons for this of course will be varied but what we do know, is that early intervention is crucial if we are to have any chance of turning this epidemic around. Holding Space is a non-profit organisation based in Eastbourne, East Sussex, which is attempting to address this issue and holds regular drop-ins and workshops for parents of children with mental health challenges. It comes as no surprise that there is such a great need for this service that they are having to expand their resources and search for more funding as demand for their support increases.
Almost all of our clients at South Coast Wellbeing and Training [please keep ref to SCWT in as otherwise they’ll think we’re Holding Space!] come to counselling for reasons of anxiety and depression. Equally, according to the latest research, as many as 1 in 4 people taking anti-depressants and medication for anxiety are now finding themselves addicted to the very drugs that are supposed to alleviate these symptoms. It seems that in order to resolve one issue, another one emerges. Counsellors are trained are to pick up the pieces and welcome being able to do so since more often than not, counsellors themselves may also have experienced similar issues to their clients at some point in their lives and can empathise deeply with clients’ problems.
Counselling plays a crucial role in helping people to work towards achieving then maintaining a healthy sense of self and despite there being many counsellors out in the field, each counsellor will have their specialism and won’t necessarily want to work with anyone who comes through the door. It is vital then that we continue to train counsellors to keep the profession fresh, alive and accessible.
- Counselling isn’t as stigmatised as it used to be
One way of making counselling accessible is to destigmatise it. All too often, we hear people say that they’ll just ‘grin and bear it’ or that they will keep ‘pushing through’ for fear of judgment if they admitted to needing counselling. Or perhaps there’s a fear of being seen to be weak and not being able to cope. But the truth is that it’s hard to cope at times, particularly for those who have experienced traumatic childhoods and who have been set up from an early age not to be able to deal with life’s challenges – for no fault of their own.
Counselling as a way of seeking support however, is at the same time, becoming more known about and whilst there still may be those of us who would rather suffer than to admit to needing counselling, there are many others who are accessing counselling services and benefitting hugely from such support. So perhaps it’s up to those of us who know how useful counselling can be, to start talking about it more; to normalise it even more. We’re not quite there yet but we are miles ahead from where we were even 10 years ago; we just have to keep on keeping on…
Training with South Coast Wellbeing and Training
Here, we offer counselling training because we believe in the profession – we believe in supporting people to be able to function healthily in life, to be able to accept all of who they are, warts and all, to be able to say that despite their history and their mental health, that they have hope and faith in their ability to heal, perhaps rewriting the damaged narrative of their lives to recreate one which is at the very least functional and at best positive. Either way, counselling, done well, is an empowering process that holds a person safely, meeting them where they’re at non-judgmentally and respecting, valuing them and holding the client at the centre of the work.
People wanting to train in this field usually have a sense of wanting to give something back to society after having turned their own lives around. If this sounds like you and if counselling training is something that appeals to you, drop us a line and let’s talk about how you can start your counselling training journey.
We look forward to hearing from you!