"Summer holiday, £1,014. Christmas: £868.
Eight counselling Session with Clare £400."
Fellow counsellor Andrea Sheehy offers this calculation and it’s a very good one, perhaps particularly useful at a time when money is becoming tight and you're having to prioritise.
A man called my local radio station this week to talk about debt. He was living apart from his children and spent extraordinary amounts of the banks money to buy them presents. At Christmas he’d spent £2000 but said that the kids were ungrateful and their mother had poisoned their minds against him. The radio host asked some careful questions and it seemed as if, in fact, this father had been so desperate for a great Christmas that he’d made his kids anxious and tense. They wanted to relax and veg out and he wanted them to endlessly play and eat and be grateful.
Every counsellor that works for an Employee Assistance Programme will know the story of the client who realises that their stress will not be cured within 4 hours, has found the 5 free sessions incredibly valuable but won’t spend £50 a week on continuing this journey with another counsellor. Every counsellor will have had the discussion with a potential client who will go on minibreaks every fortnight, or to a monthly spa or has botox or travels to a second home every weekend, but who says they don’t have the money to spend on their own wellbeing.
The irony is that many people wouldn’t need to constantly spend money on stuff if they had spent a little time examining what actually makes them happy and what brings meaning to their lives.
The radio host spoke very sensitively to the resentful, unhappy father. He said, ‘Kids don’t want our money, they want our time. They don’t love us for what we get them, they love us because we listen to them and take care of them.” The father just couldn’t hear him, he was too filled with sorrow, confusion and bitterness and the host had to go to the travel news.
Rather than spending a thousand pounds on getting away from it all or attempting to make someone love you, spend a few hundred to explore your inner worlds. I promise you'll get more from counselling than you will from lying around in a white dressing gown drinking white wine all weekend.
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