Matt * came to Wellspring last year and here he shares about his counselling journey and how it has helped him through the lockdowns of the past year.
My Counselling Journey – by Matt (Client name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.)
I contacted Wellspring to talk about my mum’s death when I was younger, and my reluctant journey into parenthood. I loved my kids, but I also loved my own time and freedom, and the stuff that came with being a dad was frequently a source of resentment. It was causing some serious relationship issues for me and my wife too, although I didn’t twig how deep those were when I began.
Over the course of a year, my counsellor helped me to chip away at some firmly entrenched behavioural traits. We tried a range of different approaches – sometimes using props, often just talking around an issue from various angles. I found the sessions enjoyable, challenging at points, and occasionally revelatory and exhilarating.
The centre was a huge support. A very safe and calm atmosphere on entering, and the donation-based costs are really a remarkable thing. It’s what made me decide to attend; otherwise it would have been too expensive.
Over the course of that year, I became quite a lot closer to my memories of my mum, which I had sealed off. I’ve taken quite a few steps to making her memory an active part of my life – something I’ll be working on for a long time, I’m sure, but the counselling kicked that process off.
Much more significant is the progress I made with being a dad: my counsellor suggested some baby steps in this area, and bit by bit, everything has become much more natural and instinctive, and my relationship with my children has gone from strength to strength. I love them more now. I’ve actually felt my love for them grow tangibly, feeling more tender and protective and kindly, feeling the happiness and joy that can come from simply being with them.
It also paved the way for my wife and I to embark upon relationship counselling. She’s had her own individual counselling too, and the time we’d both spent opening up individually gave us a language and a framework which created enough of a sense of safety to broach some deeply buried unspoken subjects.
Now many months into a Coronavirus lockdown with two toddlers – which must be the most intense of situations for an unhappy family – it’s really dawning on us just how valuable Wellspring has been for our lives.
We’re in a truly different place because of the work done there.
We feel much closer together as a couple and as a family, with plenty still to resolve and build on but an increasingly strong foundation from which to do it.