Bath Mind Counselling: Mia’s Story
“I finally feel like someone has listened to what I need”.
I moved to Bath in September 2020, after having spent years battling with mental health problems in my hometown, where I lived with my family. My boyfriend and I had decided it was time for a fresh start in a new place. Everything in my life had changed and it was huge life adjustment.
After taking an overdose to try and end my life in January for the fourth time in a about a year and half. I decided to reach out to Bath Mind. I originally spoke to a Bath Mind staff member who was an amazing support for me when I was really struggling at first. She then suggested referring me to the counselling service. I decided to give it a go. I was a bit sceptical at first because I have had counselling before, but never truly felt like it helped me.
Not long after being referred, Jeanette contacted me through email and asked to make an appointment over the phone to complete my counselling assessment, to find the right counsellor for me. I was a bit worried about the assessment because it was over the phone, which I wasn’t used to. The day came for my appointment and I spoke to Jeanette for a good thirty mins.
My counselling assessment
Within this time Jeanette asked me lots of different questions and made me feel comfortable with sharing things about my life. I got asked lots of things, for example what I am looking to gain from counselling. I really felt like Jeanette was listening to my responses, and she was really keen to get some support for me. Jeanette was also really accommodating to my working pattern and said she would definitely find someone for me on Wednesdays, which is my day off during the week.
When I came off the phone to Jeanette, I burst into tears to my boyfriend, and he looked worried. I then said to him “I finally feel like someone has listened to what I need”. I felt so relieved that someone had listened to what I needed and said they would do it as quick as possible. I felt worthy, listened too, supported, cared for and most importantly to me, significant.
Matching with a counsellor
Not too much later down the line, Jeanette contacted me again, to let me know she had found a counsellor who she thought was a great match to me, called Becky. I was so pleased at how quickly she had done this for me.
The day came for my first session with Becky. I don’t really remember too much about it, but I remember finding her voice very calming, and thinking, I like you. After a few weeks of talking to Becky for fifty minutes every Wednesday on the phone, Becky suggested moving to zoom as it meant we could see each other. I was really pleased about this as I had mentioned to Becky that I prefer being able to see people’s faces. When we moved to zoom, I remember being really happy and pleased that we could see each other.
Throughout my time talking to Becky both on the phone and on zoom, I felt listened too. Becky has helped me to see that even though bad things have happened in my life and feeling like I’m not looked after is ok, because most importantly I have myself, and I capable of looking after and being there for myself.
How counselling has helped
There were a couple of sessions where I felt very emotional after, because the things we spoke about were very intense and brought up a lot of feelings and emotions. Now having finished counselling, I feel it was extremely helpful to have looked back at the sad times in my life, because it feels easier to think about now, and doesn’t feel as heavy.
I feel like the previous times I have had counselling; it was more about acknowledging that I do struggle with my mental health and the reasons behind it. This time with Becky it felt different. It felt like we were learning ways to help deal with how I feel at times. Becky was amazing at this. I think it also felt different because this time I believe I was ready to feel better and find myself.
Becky and myself planned for things to do when I’m not feeling ok. Becky made me my own personal relaxation meditation, where we chose the phrases of affirmation together. I remember listening to it for the first time and crying because it started with “Hello Mia”, it felt so special, and I will treasure it forever.
Becky and I also did some work on acknowledging all the good things about myself as well as the bad thoughts I have because, although they are bad thoughts and feelings, I still feel them, and that’s ok. Its ok to sit with them for a while and accept them, but not to stay there. I have found this to be extremely helpful, because when I’m not ok, I am now starting to be able to think to myself, this feeling won’t stay forever, and things will feel lighter again.
Looking beyond counselling
I feel like there was lots more things that we did together, that I will carry with me on my journey, but this was just a snippet of things that we got up too. Becky listened, supported, cared, and most importantly acknowledged me and made me realise that I am special, and I am important. I can’t thank Becky enough for everything she has done for me. I don’t think I would be here today without her support. I also want to thank Jeanette and the rest of Bath Mind; I will be forever grateful for the life changing support I have received and still am.
A huge thank you to Mia for sharing her story with us. If you’d like to find out more about our low-cost counselling service, head to our Counselling webpage.
Posted on: 1st November 2021