How Can Counselling Help?
People with ME (and also their carers/close family) often have to make significant changes to their lives. These changes are sometimes difficult to understand and come to terms with, but exploring them through Counselling can help. Counselling can help people better understand the practicalities of living with ME and explore ways to improve their lives. It can also help people to make progress with personal issues, which ultimately increases resourcefulness and wellbeing.
It is important to note, that whilst ME can have a significant impact on emotional and mental wellbeing (just like many other chronic conditions), it is not a psychological condition, and this means it cannot be “treated and cured” through Counselling.
Counselling Can Improve Wellbeing
The purpose of all Counselling is to increase overall wellbeing. Counsellors who are specifically trained and experienced in ME can also help to stabilise symptoms, which in turn helps people manage the illness more effectively.
An important part of the Counselling process involves working through the emotions that are often triggered by ME, such as fear, guilt, frustration and anger, and exploring areas such as loss, relationship issues, stress and energy management. Working through these can have a positive impact on the symptoms of the illness.
A Safe Place to Be Heard and Accepted
Counsellors offer a place for people with ME to voice their experiences and concerns, and express feelings and emotions. Sharing these experiences and concerns with an impartial and experienced professional can help significantly. Counsellors also provide an opportunity to talk through lifestyle changes and set and manage goals.
A Positive Relationship Encourages Positive Change
Having someone show genuineness, empathy, acceptance, sensitivity and flexibility, can have a hugely positive impact on those with ME. Counsellors can offer a number of these qualities, all of which combine to create a helpful and healing relationship. For people who have experienced hostile reactions towards their illness or have been poorly understood, this can be particularly important in helping them to move forward.
Exploring the Practicalities of Pacing
Counsellors can help people with ME to begin their journey of positive energy management (Pacing). Sharing ideas with a Counsellor, and setting and managing goals, can help those with ME to spend their energy doing more of what they want. For those who aren’t aware of Pacing, some Counsellors can assist in understanding what it is, how it works, and help to establish a baseline of activities.
Counselling Can Offer Alternative Solutions
As well as having a safe place to talk, Counsellors can also help people through Mindfulness and other relaxation techniques. This can be particularly helpful for energy management, and also ease physical pain, stress and tension, and lift moods.
If you are affected by the condition, and would like to be put in touch with an ME Counsellor/Therapist, please do get in touch.