My name is Steph and I work as a counsellor in Waterford. Most of my clients are young people so I get to hear and see what it’s like trying to find your way in today’s world. I’m also the proud Godmomma of a beautiful 14-year-old warrior princess which helps too
The issues that land on the laps of young people today range from family/relationship issues and exam stress, to anxiety and eating disorders, and everything in between. Regardless of what the issue is, my main goal is to get to know the person sitting in front of me. Our issues and how we’re thinking and feeling about them can really take over who we are. Our identity can get lost in the chaos of the problem which causes us to lose our connection with our best tool; ourselves. In our sessions, we take some time to bring the identity forward again.
We also start to talk about the issue itself from different perspectives to find out what it means. For instance, one person’s experience of anxiety can be very different to the next, the same way that one person’s experience of a family separation can be very different to someone else’s, so it’s important to hear how each individual person relates to their issue.
When we’re dealing with something difficult, we have a tendency to “zoom in” (sometimes subconsciously) and focus on the finer details. This can cause us to become cut off from other things and people who are important to us. Because our lens narrows so much by zooming in, other things that were once in our direct line of vision, move out of sight.
So, through different conversations, we can begin to “zoom out” again and see the big picture.
So, once we have remembered our identity (which is made up of beliefs, values, strengths, vulnerabilities, interests, plans, etc.), once we have externalized the problem by talking about it from different angles, and once we have “zoomed out”, we can begin to see problems and issues differently, which helps us to cope with things a bit better. It doesn’t happen overnight, and the problem itself doesn’t disappear, but we do begin to feel differently about our issues, ourselves and our ability to cope.
I really enjoy working with young people because they keep it real; they are so brave and honest, and so resilient to this crazy world. Counselling can be tough work but some of the most valuable and rewarding work you might ever do. Oh, and humour is really important for healing too so we laugh when we can