Low self esteem guyI thought I would share something of myself and insight, I am often so busy that I don’t get to reflect as much and look inwardly as I once did, so I find myself with a few hours.

I write this as I fly to celebrate something which others may in fact dread, a 50th birthday, i’m excited, why? Well apart from the fact that I am off to spend it in Thailand with some of the friends I made when I lived there, and combined with seeing travel as a way of discovering newsreels and confidences, looking back on my life, it seems to me to be the case that the older I have gotten, the happier and more I have liked, even loved myself, is the happiness and self love connected, I think so.

I was a shy, clumsy unconfident youngster and adolescent, I didn’t value my self and really only started to after a melt down, looking back that melt down was the making of who I am becoming, when I was studying counselling and the guru Carl Rogers over 20 years ago, little did I really know of how ‘becoming’ would go on for so long, but I get it now.

Becoming aware of the less attractive parts of my personality, understanding them and changing is a constant, a little like gardening, there is always something there which required pulling out or cutting back hard.

It surprises a lot of people that a ‘counsellor’ is still working on ‘self’ after all these years, I couldn’t do it any other way.

So when clients are at their lowest and most vulnerable and have found the courage to ask for help (often the most difficult part) I understand where they are, and how desperate they may be, how hope may have all but abandoned them and it’s almost as a last act of despair that they reach out to the guy who sounds ok in the online counselling bio, asking themselves, can it really help.

Glass with a hope text on it.Most of my clients breath a huge sigh of relief once they have told me their story, either in the first live chat session or in an email, some life stories take a little longer than a session, but however long it takes, they usually know that actually, although their circumstances are unique to them, its probable that I have helped others with similar issues, I can often sense the hope falling over them.

If I do nothing else in the first session, I install hope, let’s face it, without that we will feel doomed. There is no problem that can’t be helped by sharing and finding strategies and tools to get through it, even the real big stuff is helped by having the opportunity to share and be heard. A counsellor will walk beside you, but they aren’t going through it, that enables them to see things in a way which a client may not be able to.

So if you are feeling low on hope, come and have a chat to me and let me give you some. I know for sure that I won’t be happy until I have at least given you that.

Paul Parkin – Online Counsellor