Updated: Jan 15
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I opened my private counselling practice in September 2017, and it is the best decision I ever made.
The experience of running my own private practice has been an amazing journey for me and a leap of faith that I am glad I had the courage to take.
I still worked part time as a Pharmaceutical Representative when I first opened my practice,, a career that was a long way away from counselling and volunteered one evening a week for a charitable organisation (Hurting2Healing, www.hurting2healing.org), who offer counselling for survivors of childhood abuse.
Sometimes I wondered why I juggled so many jobs, but then I took a step back and realised I was doing it to achieve my goal, and dream, of being able to one day, have a full time private counselling business that would offer affordable, professional counselling to people when they needed it most.
It is very exciting to know that dream came true on 1st January 2020.
My mission statement for SeeClear Counselling, www.seeclearcounselling.co.uk
"To offer affordable, professional counselling which is available to people who feel counselling will be useful to them, at a time when they need it most"
From my own personal experiences I am aware of how difficult it is to access counselling on the NHS, with long waiting lists before you can see a counsellor and then short term counselling or a limited number of counselling sessions offered.
If you have made the decision to access counselling you may have been thinking about it for weeks or months or maybe even years, only to then be told by your GP that you have to go on a waiting list, and the courage to start counselling may leave you
That is where the love of my job as a counsellor starts.
My decision to start my private practice means I can usually offer people an initial consultation session within the week and none of my clients have had to wait longer than 2 weeks to start therapy with me.
I am able to offer a listening ear almost immediately over the phone or sometimes via E-mail, if that is the preferred way of getting in touch.
My clients have told me how important it was for them, that once they had made the decision to start counselling, they wanted to be able to connect with someone straight away.
Even the initial phone call to book the first appointment was a real help.
To finally speak to someone who could understand some of what they were going through, and offer them a safe place to finally talk to someone, was what they needed.
My clients are a big part of what I love about my job as a counsellor.
The bravery of taking that first step and then the work they do with me.
To see how hard my clients work towards making change is a privilege.
When I decided to become a counsellor I didn't really realise the impact it would have on my life.
5 years of training while I was holding down a full time job, finding time to do the huge amount of homework and study. Finding time to fit in working with clients to achieve my 100 hours client work to become qualified. Fitting in the time to see a supervisor twice a month to ensure I was working safely and ethically. The time to see my own counsellor, 4o hours of counselling is required to ensure my own stuff is dealt with and doesn't creep into the client work.
How were there enough hours in the day?
But I did it and the reward for all that work has been immense, I had no idea at the beginning of my journey, how worthwhile it would be and how it would lead me to a job that I love so much.
When I decided to become a counsellor I thought I would help people through a difficult time in their lives, and I do.
I thought I would help someone with depression to find a way to manage better, and I do.
I thought I might help someone reduce their anxiety and worry less in life, and I do.
What I didn't realise, and this is where the love of my job as a counsellor really kicks in,
I didn't realise that I would be turning peoples lives around, but I do.
I didn't realise that I would help someone who was abused as a child to trust men again and find love, but I did.
I didn't realise I would help someone who was afraid to walk out of their front door and participate in life to open that door and become part of a life they love, but I did.
I didn't realise that I would help someone who had regular panic attacks and a fear of life to be in a place where panic attacks don't happen anymore and there is little to fear, but I did.
What other job could I do where I am seeing people change in front of my eyes, where I see fear turn to courage, I see hate turn to love, I see anxiety turn to calmness and sadness turn to happiness.
That I am able to help people turn their lives into what they want it to be, is what I truly love about my job as a counsellor.
That I am able to do this whilst moving towards my own dream of being able to do that every day for people is what I love about my job as a counsellor.
Everyday I am honoured, humbled and proud of my clients and myself, that together we can go on a journey of discovery and come out a more fulfilled person on the other side.
Everyday I learn as much from my clients as they learn from coming to see me as a counsellor.
THAT IS WHY I LOVE MY JOB AS A COUNSELLOR.
Laura Knight Dip.Couns MBACP is a qualified and experienced counsellor based in Poole, Dorset.
Her private practice SeeClear Counselling offers affordable, professional counselling when you need it most. www.seeclearcounselling.co.uk