We’re here to talk about what my therapist has taught me since starting private counselling back in April. It’s been near enough to six months since my first session, so it felt like a good milestone to share some of the things I have learnt from the experience, and more specifically from my therapist.

My sessions take place in an adorable little shed conversion. When you walk in, there are two bench chairs with cushions on either side of the room. I sit to the left-hand side of the left-hand bench. Between the two seats is a coffee table which always has a glass of water and a box of tissues at the ready. I don’t always need the tissues.

The session usually starts with the same question – how have things been? The answer to this will usually start simple. They’ve been good, they’ve been bad, they’ve been a mix. From there, we delve deeper.

This leads me nicely to the first thing that my therapist has managed to teach me. Delve deeper. Feelings and experiences are not black and white. I may have had days that feel like bad ones, but within those may have been moments of good. It’s good, and it’s healthy, to explore how you feel in a way that is grey. Simply telling yourself you’re happy or telling yourself you feel down won’t help you stay happy, or feel any better. Take a little time to analyse your feelings and learn from them.

“Try and avoid the word silly” my therapist says when describing a feeling I’ve felt. I’m not silly for getting upset when things get too much. I’m tired. I’m sad. It’s justified.

I haven’t cried in a therapy session recently. I get a bit emotional. The lip quivers. The eyes sting. But I can pull it back now. I can talk myself back around a lot of the time. My therapist has taught me to forgive myself. Forgive myself for not knowing the answers to everything, forgive myself for making a decision that may or may not turn out to be the “wrong” one. Forgive myself for needing a break.

My fear of failure could have crippled me. It could have stopped me from deciding to quit my job and try being a freelancer. But it didn’t. Here I am, being assertive in my own life, able to take control of what I do, and how. Which is probably the most valuable lesson to learn about yourself, tbh.