I still note with wonder that with the click of a button I can see and talk to another person sitting in their home or office on the other side of London or in a totally different country; technology continues to allow us to connect in a way that makes the world seem smaller. Yet at the same time many of us can feel disconnected, lonely and isolated, whether physically alone or in the presence of others.
We have all had our own unique experiences during the past sixteen months of social distancing and lockdowns; for some it has exacerbated existing personal struggles, for others, new, and perhaps surprising difficulties have emerged around how we manage, cope, and feel about ourselves. The freedoms sanctioned on 19 July, allowing opportunities to reconnect at pre-Covid levels, can present challenges to those who feel alone, perhaps highlighting what is absent or not working in their lives, or creating anxieties around the perceived need to re-engage socially, and how to do this.
We are relational beings; as infants, we need to connect in order to survive, and we need to be witnessed in order to thrive. Without anyone to bear witness to our lives we can struggle to have a sense of our own personal worth. Being seen, acknowledged and validated are not givens in life; we can arrive at adulthood with varying childhood experiences of being witnessed, including not being seen at all, and invariably these experiences shape not only our relationship with ourselves, but also how we connect to others.
Counselling offers a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space to be seen, acknowledged and validated by another; a space where we can explore our thoughts, feelings and patterns of behaviour, and so develop a better understanding of ourselves, including how we connect and relate to others. Counsellors at Quaggy Community Counselling Service (QCCS) understand that it can feel daunting to seek support, to step into the unknown; empathy is intrinsic to their approach, the belief that the client’s experience, whatever that may be, is worth paying attention to, it has value and meaning. Through the connection of the counselling relationship and being seen, we are able to start thinking about solutions to our difficulties and make changes in our lives.
You can find out more about accessing counselling at QCCS by visiting the Counselling page on our website.