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Thoughts from a therapist: introducing Lucy

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Hi, I’m Lucy.

I’m a fully qualified and experienced counsellor, based in central Stroud. 

In my role, I have the privilege of helping people gain understanding and insight about themselves. I work with people toward overcoming a range of emotional difficulties and mental health challenges and use the counselling process to help people achieve growth and development. I’m passionate about raising awareness around mental health, de-stigmatising and de-mystifying all things that go alongside that. 

The thing is, that this all happens behind closed doors, contained within the safety and sanctuary of my counselling room. However, I believe that everyone can benefit from counselling, and wanted to try and bring some of my experience and expertise to a wider audience. So here is what will hopefully turn into a regular feature for our community – Thoughts From a Therapist.

Think Agony Aunt 2.0. 

The history of the Agony Aunt columns date back as far as 1690, when a chap called John Dunton founded the Athenian Mercury – a publication consisting of readers’ dilemmas which were answered by a panel of experts.

The anonymity of problem sharing had great appeal and since then there has been a proliferation in these advice columns and problem pages. In addition to the appeal of anonymity, I think that the Agony Aunt column touches on a paradox which is fundamental to the human condition: the need to feel like we belong and are ‘normal’, and the need to feel unique and individual. It’s why we love reading advice columns, right?! We either resonate with the dilemma posed – a ‘me too’ moment of belonging which brings the sweet relief of normality. And when we don’t resonate with the dilemma? Queue the relief of uniqueness, brought through the act of comparing ourselves to the unique insight into another person’s life. 

So what to expect from this? 

Well, life can be difficult for everyone at one point or another. Not mentioning the C-word (no, not that C-word…..the C-word of ‘unprecedented times’) crisis we find ourselves attempting to emerge from.

Not mentioning the looming crises that are somewhat larger than dots on the horizon currently. Out of the frying pan and into the what now?! Against that backdrop, we are also a species complicated and complex in nature. Emotions and relationships are a tricky business. And yet they are the backbone of our experience of what it means to be human, to be alive. 

Maybe your relationship is breaking down; maybe your child or parent won’t talk to you. Perhaps work is overwhelming you and you feel a little lost. It could be that you feel numb, angry, anxious….or maybe you’re facing a transition point in your life and are unsure as to which path to take as you move forward. 

Whatever is on your mind – keeping you up at night, bugging you throughout the day – I want to hear about it. 

And I know this is a big ask…..sharing your troubles. Seeing them in black and white. Ouch. Even with the cloak of anonymity. I get it. So what I’m asking for is your bravery, your courage, to meet that searing vulnerability. But lest we forget, it is in the vulnerability that we find the growth and insights we so often are yearning for. 

In return, I will bring my experience and trained perspective to your dilemma. I’ll draw on the theories and concepts I use in the counselling room; these theories are of value to everyone. I believe we can all use these ideas, understand ourselves and our relationships better, find meaning and live a more enriched life. Maybe just the act of voicing your problem will be enough to bring some relief. Maybe the validation and recognition of your dilemma will unstick something that has been stuck. Maybe, just maybe, the response I offer is of use to you, and maybe a few other readers in our community also. 

This can never replace the work of counselling, as I’m sure you know. The process of counselling is not achieved in one response. But perhaps it’s enough for you, for now.

Lucy Butler

Psychodynamic Counsellor

www.lucybutlercounselling.co.uk

@lucybutlercounselling

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