I'll own up to the fact that I've been seeing a counsellor on and off for the past five months or so. This is the second time I've seen someone since diagnosis.
The first sessions were just after completion of the radiotherapy in 2009. At that time I was a bit of an emotional wreck and my consultant referred me to the counselling service. I had four sessions but found travelling in and out of the city not that simple as I was not allowed to drive at that time, and I didn't want to inconvenience family or friends. None of them minded driving me in and out but I did not like to keep asking it of them.
In any case I felt that I could get by without any help ......... not so as it turns out!!! This year, having started me on a low dose of Prozac for mild depression, my lady GP suggested that I give counselling another try and so I have been. One of the benefits as far as I am concerned is that I can say what I'm really feeling and thinking ....... no need to put on a brave face or tailor my responses to suit the person I am talking to. I don't want my nearest and dearest to have to deal with my tears, or to be constantly reminded of my symptoms, real and imagined!!
A counsellor is there to hear what you have to say and can help you get your thoughts and feelings into some sort of rational order. For example, when I found out in February that I had a second meningioma (which had shown up on my first MRI in 2009), that had not been reported until now, I was angry and disappointmented. I really felt badly let down. Being able to talk to my counsellor about these feelings has helped me to recognise that having two meningiomas is not a death sentence and, in any case, BOTH will be carefully watched for signs of change from now on.
Laying out your anxieties in the cold light of day and identifying what it is that really worries or annoys you is abundantly helpful. As is identifying the things that comfort or console you. Once identified you can use this self-knowledge in constructive ways. In the "busy-ness" of daily living it is often difficult to do this by yourself - an inability to see the wood for the trees! So far the 'the benefit of counsel' has much to recommend it.