What does Counselling have to do with your capacity to reach out? Getting in contact with a therapist in a moment of need takes some courage and willingness to self-care. When feeling under pressure with your relationships, mental health, work issues your personal relationship with “reaching out” will be instrumental in seeking help and support.
Reach or Retreat: What’s your reaching out style?
We are social beings, neurobiologically wired for connection with others. Our survival and wellbeing depend on it. As babies, we are helpless; instinctually dependent on our caregivers to meet our every need from feeding, emotional soothing to protection from predators.
From the womb into the world we use preverbal communication to ‘reach out’ until we learn more sophisticated ways of connecting and communicating our needs. As we reach adulthood, our needs change. We become independent, though reaching out is integral to our wellbeing.
We are socialised into the world through learned experiences, behaviours, habits, communication styles and ways of relating. How we learn to relate to ourselves, with others and to be in relationship is especially defined in our early years of development.
In the same vein cultural, social norms & values, rituals and narratives translate and evolve through generations. Likewise, traumas negotiate their way through generations.
The wiring of our brain, the ability to self-regulate our nervous system and unconscious and conscious understandings of ‘appropriate’ behaviour are all strongly influenced by our environment.
How we are in relationship to another literally shapes us physically and emotionally. We are all interconnected.
What’s your seeking help style?
Messages we received may have been explicit for example ‘its weak to reach out to others for support’ or ‘don’t trust anyone’.
Implicit messages might be, having an attentive and attuned caregiver so the learned life lesson translates into ‘there is point in reaching out and connecting, it helps me feel better when I’m distressed’. On the flip side, an emotionally unavailable caregiver might unintentionally give the message ‘there is no point in reaching out, no one cares or can or will help’
We might have tried to reach out once, been rejected, felt shame so avoided doing it ever again.
Nothing is set in stone…bringing the unconscious into our conscious awareness allows us to make active choices to change our patterns of relating to benefit our wellbeing. This is one of the ways counselling can help if you feel stuck when it comes to reaching out at work, at home, romantic or friendships.
Consider/reflect on the below:
When I feel stressed, distressed or upset I….
When other people know I am struggling I feel…. Why?
Is it okay to I cry in front of others? Why?
Who is ‘safe’ to reach out to and who isn’t? How come?
I make light of my situation/my feelings with friends when really I feel…
I trust that other people will support me in my distress
It is okay to ask for help
There is no right or wrong here, it’s about you understanding yourself in a way that is helpful to you in the here and now as well as in the long term so you can let in and give yourself the emotional and social nourishment needed to thrive.
If you feel stuck and feel that it would be beneficial to reach out to a trained professional, get in touch with one of our team today who can confidentially guide you through the process.
Couples Counselling is a useful tool to help the ‘reaching out’ process in relationships. When reaching out and connection becomes conflict and power struggles, a trained professional can help get to the underlying need that is underneath and help understand where this pattern stems from.
If you are unsure – for any queries or questions, we offer a free 10 minute consultation so you can make the decision that feels right for you.
Leone Centre experienced counsellors and therapists are available for both online and face-to-face at our Fulham, Putney Bridge studios. For further information on Leone Centre Counselling, we are here to answer your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Leone Centre, your care is our highest concern. We are trusted providers of quality counselling & psychotherapy for over 12 years.