One of my clients recently suggested I write a blog about the different therapies which have been of benefit to them over the last few years. We decided to have an interview style format describing how the range of therapies worked together, from a holistic perspective. The interview is not completely word for word, as this was a chat during a massage, so it is recorded as I remember it. Some of the words are taken from text messages and conversations we have had during sessions. This blog has been a collaboration with my client (de-identified as C) and this person has approved content. I am grateful to them for sharing these reflections.
R: So, you had reiki the other day, a massage today, some counselling a few weeks ago and I’ve also had your partner come a few times for couples counselling. I must be doing something right?
C: Don’t forget I also did the walking talking therapy!
R: Oh yes! You were my first one.
C: That was such a hot day but we walked all the way to the beach and talked a lot!
R: How was the reiki?
C: I got sore legs, but I have chronic pain and that was acting up that day. I did feel really relaxed though. I liked it, I’ll have another session.
R: We will just make sure you are really comfy and pop a pillow under your legs. Does massage help with the chronic pain?
C: Yes, I always feel better after your massages, much lighter.
R: So how’s the one on one counselling been for you, we’ve been doing it for a while now? What have you noticed that has changed in your life?
C: Well, after I talked about all the every day things and my work and all the things that was going on for me every week; it got better when I finally was able to talk about my own stuff.
R: So, once we developed a relationship of trust and I got to know you better, you felt more comfortable to go into some deeper personal stories?
C: Yeah – I really felt better after that. Only my family knows all of those things so it was good to tell someone who didn’t judge or criticise me or think I was crazy.
R: Do you feel like now you have been able to talk more about your past, you can approach the future differently now?
C: Well, I once had a psychiatrist or psychologist tell me I would always be a drug addict and never get better and that I would be a burden on everyone in my life.
R: Is that true?
C: No. I’m not a burden, or a drug addict.
R: No you’re not! You have finished your studies and enrolled in more. You have raised your children and help care for others. I don’t believe you are a burden.
C: No, I’m not.
R: What about the couples counselling? How was that for you both?
C: Can I ask – are we the only gay couple you see for counselling?
R: Let me think, I have a few gay clients, and some have bought their partners in a few times as well. You guys are just like everyone else, just people having a relationship. I also see mother/daughters’, dads/sons and families. Anyone who is having a relationship with each other.
C: I really liked the couple sessions. It gave me some courage to say things knowing you were there to support us. It gave us a lot to talk about on the way home in the car.
R: That’s great. It’s been wonderful to witness your growth as a person and in relationship.
C: You remember how for a long time you kept asking me “what I do for me, what do I for myself that gives me time out – what I enjoy just for me?” Well I come here. To this room. It’s my time, to vent, swear, cry, talk or have a massage. This is for me. I’d be lost without you.
R: Oh thank you for hanging out with me! I remember the first day I met you and you had a football jersey on and I thought. “Oh shit, I know nothing about football, this won’t go very far!”
C: And now you know heaps!
R: I know so much more about so many things after meeting you.
C: Thank you – you are so caring, supportive and non-judgmental – you have helped me a lot.
R: Thank you – for teaching me so much.
Rachel Wilkinson is a Counsellor, Massage therapist and Reiki Master at Wello Well. She offers counselling in the Redland and Bayside areas of Brisbane for individuals, families, couples and youth as well as remedial massage and reiki. She works from rooms in Wellington Point as well as Redland City Boxing in Cleveland. She is currently studying her Masters of Counselling and has become very adept at using a wide array of distraction techniques to avoid the large amount of weekly reading required. She is also available for Skype/Zoom and remote sessions.