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No question is a silly question! 

How do I know if the counselling is working?

It’s hard to tell you exactly as you’re the best judge of this!

Here are some of the changes people noticed during their counselling at uHub.

* I feel less alone, anxious, depressed, sad, overwhelmed, frightened, angry, suicidal etc

* I can deal better with my problems

* I know my strengths

* I feel like I understand and like myself better

* I notice how hard I was on myself and where that came from

* I now know my feelings were normal grief emotions and that I’m not alone

* I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel

* I know I can seek counselling again in the future, should I ever need it

There may be physical and practical changes too:

* I sleep better

* I have ways of calming myself down

* I don’t argue with people so much

* I cried with my counsellor, which is a first

* I’m going out more with friends

* I don’t self-harm anymore

* I’m eating better

* I’m writing a diary

* I left or strengthened my relationship

* I got a job

What if I’m not coping between appointments?

The gaps between weekly sessions can seem enormous sometimes, and occasionally tough things happen during the week that catapult you back to how you felt when you first began. Finding a counsellor that you can trust and talk to can feel amazing – you may feel a bit in awe, or like you really need them.

If you’re finding it hard between sessions, then tell them that. Remember they’re trained to be there through all these stages. These tips may help too:

* Go for a walk after sessions, or somewhere quiet, and really reflect on what was said and why it’s helpful

* Meet someone you trust during the week and chat things through with them

* Write a diary, which you could bring to your next session

* Indulge in a hobby that makes you feel good

* Draw, or play/listen to music

* Get some exercise

But if you’re really struggling to cope between sessions then seek support from your GP. What if I open up just as the session or time is up?

Even if your counsellor seems understanding… but ends your session anyway, this can make you feel all sorts of cruddy things like:

* Do they even care?

* Why can’t they give me some more time?

* No one is there for me

* How could they just do that?

* I feel so low

These feelings are important, so share them with your counsellor as they happen. Or maybe write them down when you get home and bring it with you next time. You may want them to extend their time with you but, generally, counsellors don’t do this.

Try and plan your counselling days so you don’t have to rush off somewhere straight afterwards.

What do they do if I start crying? Will they hug me? Or just, like, watch?

Crying is normal and could happen at any point during counselling. They may pass you some tissues but services usually have very clear policies that mean they can’t really touch or hug you.

To feel able to cry during your sessions, you need to feel they’re ‘being with you’ as you express yourself emotionally. This can feel really empowering. Recognise that your feelings are important and someone can be there for you. Also crying can give you a new way of expressing yourself, containing and naming your emotions, soothing yourself, and understanding your feelings.