Why I started counselling

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It’s hard to say how I was drawn to counselling. It seemed so obvious at the time, yet so hard to put into words. Often, that’s what we’re dealing with as humans, and that can sometimes be difficult or distressing.

The idea quite revealingly came to me while walking across The Meadows during a day off from my work which I took to see something at the Edinburgh Fringe. That was in 2005. My mind was probably in a different place anyway, but my daydreaming envisaged a talking, helping relationship with people. I had little idea what this was called but after some googling and advice, I was led to speak to someone who ran counselling courses.

Before long I was signed up for a Counselling Certificate, which I enjoyed so much I also signed up for a Postgraduate Diploma course, qualifying in 2007. A MSc in Counselling followed in 2008.

Studying to become a counsellor is not just about learning “stuff”. It requires some unavoidable personal work, and many would agree the journey towards qualification is an emotional roller-coaster. And that was no exception in my case. But I would go through it again and again. Perhaps I am a masochist for intense emotions. Besides, how can I expect clients of mine to subject themselves to such emotional journeys if I am not prepared to do the same myself?