Wellspring is looking to recruit a Children & Young People’s Counsellor to provide individual, long and short-term counselling for children and young people aged 4-18. The role is funded by BBC Children in Need, and is an exciting opportunity to join our supportive and hardworking team. [Read more…]
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Becky came to Wellspring earlier this year and here she shares about her counselling journey.
(Client and counsellor name have been changed to maintain confidentiality.)
I have suffered from periods of mild depression and anxiety for over 20 years. My issues seemed to be connected to an insecurity with relationships, so at the time I felt that making myself vulnerable with those I loved would threaten the very thing I was fearful of losing.
I had always felt desperate for someone to talk to that was not family or friends but counselling seemed an unaffordable option for me. I had heard about Wellspring, and whilst I am an occasional church-goer, I was wary that I didn’t want to experience religious bias in the sessions.
I was uncomfortable putting myself forward for counselling.
I didn’t want to take the place of someone who might be more deserving than myself and I felt I was probably better off than many people who find themselves in desperate situations. I expressed these doubts to a community leader who was asking me how my “head was”. He reassured me that the counselling sessions at Wellspring were not religiously biased, and that as humans, every single one of us deserves to have help of this kind. Also, that I could decide how much I wanted to pay for each session. I came away from that meeting feeling thrilled and empowered and contacted Wellspring immediately.
It was a couple of months before my first appointment came up, ironically, by then, I was going through a “good phase” and felt fine, and I was not feeling the need for any help! But being anxious not to let people down, I decided to go to the first appointment.
The entrance hallway was beautifully calm and warm, with sofas, magazines and soft background music. I immediately felt nurtured by my surroundings. Martha, my counsellor came to collect me and took me up to a small and comfortable sunny room. I explained to her that I didn’t need to be here, that I was absolutely fine. I talked about how I had been depressed and anxious on and off in the past, so maybe I could use this session to get tips on how to how to cope with negative feelings in the future. I also apologised for wasting her time and taking the place of someone needier. I assured her this would be my only session! Martha, in her kind and professional manner skilfully got me to open up.
By the end of the session I realised that this could be the start of a journey.
I realised that it was OK for me to be here, and to explore the reasons for my past unhappiness and anxiety. Martha was lovely, warm, friendly and always gave my feelings importance, however unworthy or trivial I judged them to be!
I was adamant from the start that I didn’t want to start blaming my parents for my unhappiness, as I had always considered myself to have had a good childhood. But over the next few weeks it became clear to me that despite this, there were some events that have had huge impacts on me as an adult. And these needed to be acknowledged.
A revelation for me was learning that the recurring mental anguish I suffer from today is nearly always a pain from the past.
I learned that I don’t need to fall for the first emotion I feel and let that define me, and that the shame and guilt I often suffer comes from the uncomfortableness of expressing my own needs and feelings. Most importantly I have learned that I have done nothing wrong, and that I should feel proud of the way I work and who I am. And hand on heart, I do believe that now.
Martha also helped me to realise I needed to develop a more positive view of myself and with that came some fun exploration. What is my style? Do I take time to celebrate my achievements? While this seemed a little self-indulgent to me, I have realised the importance it has when it comes to building a solid sense of self and a positive self-esteem.
I am pleased to say I have not been down or depressed since my last session, a few months ago. That’s not to say that I don’t think it will happen again, but I now feel I have the tools and knowledge to deal with whatever comes next. I am surer of myself when I speak to others, and most importantly I am proud of being who I am. I consider the sessions I had at Wellspring, a pivotal and enlightening part of my journey. And I would not now be afraid to seek help again, when I need it.
If you would like to help us support more people like Becky, you can set up a regular donation over on our Donate Page. Thank you.
And if you are interested in exploring the possibility of counselling for yourself, please find out more about the Counselling Services we offer here or get in touch: 01423 881 881, email@example.com
Freya* came to Wellspring and received counselling both before and during lockdown.
Here Freya shares her story. (*names have been changed to maintain confidentiality)
“My husband had suddenly been diagnosed with a serious illness a couple of years ago. It was an ongoing condition and the process of finding the right treatment was stressful. It got to the point where I was feeling ‘full up’ with unprocessed events and emotions. I didn’t feel I was able to talk it through with friends, because it felt like it was all too much. I wanted to protect my husband, so I wanted to talk to someone who didn’t know him. I realised I needed a safe space.
I also knew that I wasn’t good at expressing my feelings. All these emotions were sitting there like a great weight, but not going anywhere. I lived with this sadness and anxiety, and any kind of responsibility overwhelmed me. Because it had been such a responsibility dealing with my husband’s illness, especially as the illness was so unpredictable, it left me feeling like I couldn’t deal with any more responsibility.
After my first counselling session at Wellspring, I came away with such a sense of relief and gratitude.
I had really needed to tell someone the details of the events of his illness, and my counsellor created such a safe place where I could tell my story. Throughout my sessions, she was a very kind and supportive person. She helped me to identify my feelings. I learnt to recognise when my emotions were building up inside me, and she helped me to carefully unpack incidents from my past that were affecting my present. My counsellor gave me the tools I needed to help with my life going forward.
I started my sessions in January, and we had some sessions in person. I found the centre was a very easy place to come to, especially when you’re new and you’re not sure what to expect. You could go in and just sit there quietly to wait for your session.
Then when lockdown happened, we ended up doing video calls instead.
The online side of things was fine. We had to get used to it at first, but it was all ok. It was good to be able to see my counsellor on the video call.
I finished my counselling sessions in May, which was quite a long time, but it was worth it. I feel I’m in a different place now. It’s lifted so much of the pressure and the anxiety. I also think I’m more able to deal with things when I do experience difficult emotions now. Right the way through my sessions, I didn’t have any sense of being able to look beyond where I was, but now I can finally look beyond. I am able to move forwards and think about the future. I’d highly recommend Wellspring and encourage anyone weighed down by life’s pressures to get in touch and see a counsellor. It’s a safe place.”
If after hearing Freya’s story you are interested in exploring the possibility of counselling for yourself, please find out more about the Counselling Services we offer here or get in touch: 01423 881 881, firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you would like to help us support more people like Freya, you can set up a regular donation over on our Donate Page. Thank you.
We’ve been encouraged, entertained and inspired by the imagination of our fundraising heroes! Read on for some recent stories of individuals who have been using their unique talents to raise funds.
If you could get involved and become a fundraising hero, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Let us know how you plan to fundraise for Wellspring by emailing email@example.com. Here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing…
Elaine and her sister Gill have been practising a mindful meditation for 30-60 mins minutes each day.
They’re doing this for a month to raise funds for Wellspring. They are hoping to continue this practice even after the end of the challenge. Here’s a snippet of Elaine’s inspiring story…
“I know that regular mindful meditation is good for physical and mental health and over the years I have tried to discipline myself and learn. But with the distractions of everyday life, I have found it extremely difficult to practice, even though I know my health would benefit. Many research studies have shown that mental and physical health can improve with regular practice.
Even though we have said we will embark on this challenge for a month, it is my hope and intention to continue this practise for at least three months. If something becomes a habit for at least 3 months, then it is likely that this can be maintained. When I learned about Wellspring’s Lockdown Challenge, I realised this was an opportunity to challenge myself, and it gave me the motivation I needed. I am hoping I will inspire others to consider practising mindful meditation. But most of all I want to contribute to this much-needed, worthwhile charity that provides vital help during these difficult times.”
Ella decided to create her own Limerick-Writing Marathon to raise money for the work of Wellspring…
“I wrote limericks for 6 hours non-stop and sponsors could request their own limerick. I wrote 20 personalised limericks in total and raised over £750 thanks to the generosity of my friends and family! It was lots of fun and I’d really recommend creating your own fundraiser. Find something unique that you enjoy or that you’d like to have a go at. Then find a way to turn it into a fundraising challenge. The services Wellspring offer are so vital to many people experiencing mental health issues within the local community and it’s great to be a part of supporting this work.”
We love Anne’s idea to travel ‘virtually’!
“I am ‘virtually’ travelling the length of Great Britain, from Lands End to John O’Groats by means of running and walking to raise funds for Wellspring Therapy & Training. It is a distance of 1083.8 miles. (I’m taking the scenic route.) And I will complete it within 6 months! Wellspring Therapy & Training provide psychological support to people in distress and promote good mental health by working to restore hope, develop resilience and facilitate positive change. Without great services such as Wellspring, offering much needed support, particularly during such unprecedented times that we are currently living in is vital. By taking on this challenge I hope to enable them to continue their excellent work, so please help me help them.”
A big thank you to Anne for her amazing dedication to fundraising for us! You can donate to her fundraiser here.
The Harrogate Fire Ants Rugby League have completed 100K
“Our President Matthew Chapman and Captain Matty Lewis committed to run 100K between them for our fantastic charity Wellspring. We wanted to be involved within the community.
We stand for Teamwork built upon fitness and commitment. The humble ant is a prime example of this in nature. And in our opinion the best version of that has to be the Fire Ant, which is why we’ve adopted the nickname Fire Ants! You see fire ants in nature working together to solve problems. They cover huge distances and never give up on the cause. We want to replicate this in everything we do.”
Matthew Chapman and Matty Lewis have quite literally covered a huge distance and we’re so impressed by their commitment to raise funds for Wellspring.
We love having the support of our local community during these difficult times. And we want to be able to keep supporting our clients.
Whilst some lockdown restrictions have been lifted, fundraising is still a real challenge for charities like Wellspring. Could you donate or take on your own challenge and ask your friends and family to sponsor you? The hard work and dedication from those who fundraise is valued highly at Wellspring. We really are believers in every little helps. Thank you!
For the final part in this resilience series of blogs we will be looking at external factors that support us.
As mentioned previously, when faced with adversity we can draw on our own internal resources; who we are, and what we can do. In addition, we can draw on external resources; in essence, ask for help.
So what exactly do our external resources look like?
They will be unique to each one of us. The most obvious is our social support structure; our family, friends, co-workers etc. The good news is we do not have to have perfect relationships with all of these people, or a perfect family history, we just need to identify who can be there for us, and then engage with asking them for help. Our external resources also come from our education and learning experiences, our skills, our financial education, and our wider community. We never need all of these aspects at once, and we can take small steps to improve one of these areas at a time, and that in turn will build our resilience. What small thing could you learn today? Who could you reach out to ask for help? How could you help someone in need today? Giving and receiving help can build resilience.
And as a final note, Wellspring can be one of those external support structures for supporting anyone who is struggling to make these changes on their own.
If you want further information, have a look at these resources: