Alison Hunter Therapy
Counselling, Psychotherapy, Coaching in Glasgow Southside & Online

My problems aren't serious enough

A common concern from new clients is a fear that what’s bothering them is not serious enough to bring to therapy - that ‘other people go through so much worse’. My answer to this is that whatever the situation, is something is bothering you, then it’s important to me.

Yet, I know this reply doesn’t always satisfy so it feels worth unpacking a bit more. Therapy is necessarily a solitary pursuit, where you’re alone in a room with your therapist who you may have only met once or twice before. Because of this, it’s impossible to know what other people may to talk about. Instead, it’s easy to hear yourself speak, feel self-conscious and then let your assumptions take over, deciding to yourself others must bring more exciting and relevant things to therapy. In bringing it up, we can learn a bit more about the assumptions many of us make, how real are they?

Questioning the worthiness of what you’re saying is also probably a reflection of the newness of the therapeutic relationship. It’s part of not knowing what your therapist is thinking, wanting to do right by them and be seen as a ‘good client’ – all really understandable things to want. In talking about the concern, your therapist can then wonder with you what it’s like to bring this up. So, it can be a chance for the relationship to deepen and trust to grow. When you voice a vulnerable part of yourself and have that met with acceptance and curiosity, it’s showing you you can be heard and your thoughts and feelings are valid.

Don’t forget as well, that talking about feelings of unworthiness in the therapy room can also be great clues for both therapist and you about your story – all really useful for helpful therapy. When we deem ourselves unworthy, it’s a chance to think about messages we may have received from an early age, that left us feeling we needed to be a certain way to be accepted or gave us a sense that we could never get it right. All of these memories and many others will be impacting us as we talk about what is bothering us in the present.

Perhaps in questioning aloud what you’re talking about, you’re also reflecting a wider concern about how you feel you react to different situations. Is there a tendency to think you’re over-reacting? This can be worth looking at, helping to identify patterns in thoughts and behaviour and again, getting more clues to how you organise yourself in the world.

So, in short, what’s currently bothering you is most definitely valid and worth bringing up. And in doing so, you’re actually helping the therapy along. You’re making yourself vulnerable and you’re letting the therapist know more about you, all of which is of great use to your therapy and the chance of it feeling like a worthwhile and helpful endeavour.

My Location

My counselling, psychotherapy and coaching practice in based in the Southside of Glasgow. It is within easy reach of Shawlands, Pollokshields, Giffnock, Newton Mearns and the city centre.

I work with clients both face-to-face and online. Please contact me to discuss what may work best for you.

Blog

#
Counselling and psychotherapy are talking therapies that can help just about everyone, regardless of age, race and gender.
Read more

 

Testimonials

“I approached the counselling process with a certain level of trepidation and anxiety. However Alison was able to be supportive and reassuring, creating a safe environment. The sessions were undertaken at a pace I felt comfortable with and it was clear Alison was able to respond to my individual situation which was multifaceted. I found the process helpful and beneficial.I would be more than comfortable approaching Alison in the future should the need arise.” Anonymous, Glasgow