I’ve often felt in counselling like I am only ‘good enough’ when I’m ‘doing well’ – when I am progressing and able to be positive.
I’ve often felt shamed and unable to speak how I’m ‘not doing well’ and now I’m at the point where when I’m at my worst, I don’t go. Because I can’t handle the reaction… the look of disappointment….the look for boredom. If I can’t barf up some positivity – to please her, I’m not doing well enough.
It’s like a constant shaming process….. if I’m doing as I’m ‘supposed’ to be doing – I’m good enough. If I’m not doing well, that’s not good enough. In fact, it was made clear to me recently if I’m not doing well…. it’s okay I don’t turn up at counselling. I guess that sends a pretty clear message and helps her avoid having to deal with me. I, however, realise counselling is meant to be a safe place where I can reach out when I am at my worst.
I realise after research about mental health policy…. how recovery driven it is. Based upon the highest functioning and least suffering clients.
My counsellor asked me to look through the mental health policy – and I see how ‘you must recover’ driven it is. It is so black and white in it’s drives and goals. I got pissed off reading it after the gazillionth ‘recover’ wording used, and stopped.
I realised this policy is based on people with the best case scenario, with the least impacting mental health issues, who have quality therapy and good support. That is not the reality for many people.
I realise now those deeper layers of shaming that such policy’s promote. You’re only okay, if you are being strong and recovering well. Other than that…. you are weak and worthless.
Now, I see how this has crossed over into my counselling and it really pisses me off.
I realise why I know it’s wrong that I feel unable to reach out to my counsellor when I feel at my worst, when I’m not doing okay, when I’m not deemed to be ‘recovering’.
This makes me want to quit counselling altogether. Maybe she would be better off with a client who is less impacted, has better support in their life, and can recover. Someone who does fit the criterion as someone who can recover in full, who meets these black and white, un-empathic mental health policy.