I am often asked to explain why people come to counselling. Is it for advice? No. Is it to solve an existential problem? Is it a kind of confession? No, no and no!! The aim of counseling is to help clients discuss their own feelings, values and ideas so as to make their own decisions in a safe, unbiased and neutral environment.
Unless anger can be expressed, disappointments felt, anxieties unpicked and problems addressed without judgment, we tend to get stuck on the treadmill of other people’s expectations. There should never be a stigma attached to seeking help (although, alas, there often is) because we all face difficult life-changes or decisions at different stages of our lives.
Coaching (my other “hat”) is mostly for people who want help with English, but this usually overlaps with counselling as I don’t “do homework” for students, but instead try to help them think for themselves. Some adult students also want to discuss personal issues in English (“combinando o útil com o agradável”). Others need English for professional or academic reasons, but also want to re-think their career choices. The bonus, for me, is that every individual is unique, so I never get bored.
However, some people in the British Society are facing financial difficulties, which is why I am prepared to work on a pro-bono basis with those in genuine need (but still within the boundaries of time, space and confidentiality). Yet counselling doesn’t work unless the client is prepared to give something in return. My suggestion, therefore, is that they give a donation within their means directly to the British Society.
For counselling, coaching or further information, please contact: PenelopeFreeland@gmail.com