Seeking therapy or counselling is always a big step and can feel a little awkward at first. Ultimately it is worth it because having an impartial person listen to you is something that day-to-day life just won’t provide. No matter how much we love them, our friends and family will always be biased. Nevertheless, there are things to consider before embarking on counselling.
Unfortunately, currently, most freelancers are left alone to figure out the ways they can seek emotional support and mental wellness support. This is why our community team at Wishu want to dedicated every week to speak more about mental health and how you (as a creative freelancer) can access all the necessary help and resources to better your freelance business and personal life.
It’s a process you have to commit to
You need to have patience, particularly if talking openly doesn’t come naturally. They are not a family member who thinks you’re taking life too seriously. They aren’t a friend who thinks you’ve got nothing to be sad about. They aren’t an employer who thinks you need to knuckle down and get on with it. They are an impartial person with your best interests at heart. Ask questions, be honest, open yourself up and make the most out of the time – commit.
You need to be honest
There’s no point trying to impress your counsellor nor is it worth assuming that they’re judging you. In this professional space, nothing bad can come from opening up about your thoughts no matter how bad. They are more than just thoughts, they are symptoms of your issues, and once you’ve got them off your chest you’ll feel the benefit. Trained professionals understand them in a way that your friends and family might not be able to and that is an invaluable tool in your path to recovery.
It can feel unnatural if it’s your first time
Some people laugh, others chat nervously or sit in silence. The room can feel claustrophobic and since you’re probably not in a great place emotionally (hence why you are seeking counselling), it can feel like the absolute opposite of what I want to do during that period of your life. Nevertheless, even if you find yourself staring at the floor, avoiding eye contact and giving one-word answers you will open up eventually and the counsellor will do their best to solve your anxieties.
Where to seek counselling/therapy/help
A great option in lockdown, Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland over the phone, 24/7.
The Circle Line focuses on offering Transactional Analysis which is an internationally recognised method that is theoretically sound, rigorous and highly effective. Find a highly trained therapist on their site. Prices vary from 25-50£ per session.
Email Pip to talk more about how The Circle line works (firstname.lastname@example.org).
BetterHelp offers access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), and board licensed professional counsellors (LPC). Their goal is to make professional counselling accessible, affordable, convenient – anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime, anywhere.
Leapers supports the mental health of freelancers and the self-employed. We’re a free and inclusive community project for anyone who works differently.
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