Personal experiences of counselling and psychotherapy

I felt so alone

I work for a big organisation and I was lucky enough to get free counselling at work. I had been feeling really down for a while. It started when my aunt died of breast cancer and I had to miss her funeral because it was abroad. Then I got mugged right outside my house just before Christmas and had my bag stolen, with my purse, cards, keys and everything in it. I couldn’t afford to go home for Christmas and I felt really alone. I realised I didn’t have any real friends here or anyone I could really talk to. Nothing seemed to be going right for me.

My manager suggested workplace counselling and I decided I would book just one session to give it a go. On the day, I nearly bottled out, but my counsellor gave me a friendly welcoming smile and I relaxed and started talking. She gave me a paper test which said I might be depressed and we talked about my other options including seeing my GP and getting some medicine.

We are only supposed to have up to six counselling sessions at work, but I was lucky that they had space to give me a bit more time. I just needed someone to listen to me, and a way to unburden some of my troubles. My counsellor was like a special friend who wanted to hear about all of my woes and who really cared about me, but wanted nothing in return. I feel much better now – and I know I can go back if I need to.

Tamara, 24

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