Life as a carer can be very challenging and difficult at times and carers may not always choose, for a variety of reasons, to talk to family and friends about what they are going through. Carers can feel isolated and lonely in their caring role and that they are unable to enjoy life as much as they did before becoming a carer. Carers may be anxious about how they will continue to cope, particularly in a situation where the person they care for will need more support as time goes on. The emotional and practical demands of caring can be a significant burden for many people.
Counselling can be helpful as it provides a safe, confidential space where carers can talk openly, in their own time and in their own way, about how they feel and the impact of their caring responsibilities on their physical and emotional wellbeing. The counsellor will listen without judgement and, together with the carer, will reflect on the current situation to try to understand any issues or difficulties the carer is experiencing from the carer’s point of view.
The counsellor will work collaboratively with the carer to support them in finding ways to make their life feel more manageable and satisfying. Together they will explore the carer’s thoughts, feelings and emotions, which may lead to changes such as an increase in the carer’s self- awareness and self-acceptance. Every carer is unique but as a result of counselling carers may feel more able to cope, less isolated and with an increased acceptance of or a new perspective on their situation. Carers may become more aware of their inner resilience and the resources, both internal and external, that they can tap into going forward. Counselling sessions may also include looking at practical strategies and skills to support carers, such as exploring ways carers can have some time off from their caring duties.
If you feel that counselling might be of interest to you please call Richmond Carers Centre on 020 8867 2380 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be aware that there is a waiting list for this service. We will be in touch when an appointment becomes available and an initial meeting with a counsellor will be arranged. You can decide after this meeting whether you wish to take up the offer of weekly counselling sessions. There is a maximum of 12 sessions on offer but carers can choose to stop at any point.
Author: Teresa Crocker, volunteer counsellor at Richmond Carers Centre