Top tips from a me-sized therapist:


I know why every counselling agency I’ve ever worked for had giant waiting lists.

It’s because when I told my father-in-law I was nervous about when the injections would wear off, he said:

You’ve got to look on the positive. No use thinking otherwise. The time you have been given now is a blessing.

It’s because when I called my mom and said I was trying not to cry from exhaustion, she said:

Are you still in pain? Yes, but not as bad? I’d sure rather be tired than in pain. See, that’s the kind of pep talk you’ve got to give yourself.

Don’t get me wrong. In no way am I dissing the power of positive thinking. It’s just that we are all, also, allowed to feel worried or sad or tired or angry. Those emotions are all okay, too. It’s just rare to find people who can handle you saying those things – and is also something my clients said again and again. If you show those ‘negative’ emotions, people will label you are things you probably are not: depressed, a pessimist, ungrateful.

The truth is, we all have days where we don’t feel okay. And it’s important to learn how to be okay with not being okay. That’s one of the things we can get out of counselling/therapy. The ability to be able to sit more comfortably in our giant piles of shit. (And shit comes with its own benefits, surely. Flowers sprouting? Butterflies? I digress.)


If you have a friend or family member that you can share your ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings with, give them a hug. Tell them thanks. And then try to to do the same for someone else. People don’t always need (or want!) advice, lavish sympathy, or stories of your own experiences. Sometimes they just want someone to listen to them and acknowledge them. Let them know they have been heard, and known.

And loved anyway.



4 Responses to “Top tips from a me-sized therapist:”

  1. relationalstrengths Says:

    Beautifully stated 🙂

  2. Jill Says:

    So so so completely agree! Feeling your feelings is so important. And having someone to express that to is priceless.

  3. Gnome Says:

    Very, very true. 22 years of severe illness have made me painfully aware of the fact that most people feel a need to offer me a positive interpretation of my situation, even in simple ways such as telling me how much better I’m looking since they last saw me. If only they knew that it depresses and infuriates rather than inspires!

  4. mamacrow Says:

    gosh. that’s so sad. maybe this is why people often poor out their troubles and/or rant around me? Often they apologise for doing so, but I generally assure them that it’s better out that in!

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