Just like Plumbing
My counselling practice is based in the small town where I live so there is always a good chance I will bump into my clients in the street. In order to reassure them, I tend to address this in our first session, saying, "I'm always happy to stop and say hello, but I'll wait for you to make the first move. Just so you can choose."
In a recent session, however, after I said this, my client looked confused and said, "choose?"
So I elaborated: "In case you're embarrassed to speak to me or to explain who I am."
"Don't be daft," he said. "I'm not embarrassed about introducing the guy who does my plumbing."
And that was that.
Some people don't want to say hi to their counsellor on the street. There is no reason why they should, but I do like the idea that contacting a counsellor is no different from calling in any other skilled person. If my lights don't work I ring an electrician. If my feelings are difficult, I call a counsellor.
My clients' emotional lives have become blocked in some way; or the ground they are on has subsided and they need shoring up. My job is to help them get back to a state where their thoughts and feeling are reliable, safe and secure again. Our minds are mysterious and our emotions can be strange, but the work I do is not magic or even rocket science.
Nonetheless, it is a really good idea to call in a tradesman or woman when things go wrong.