Above & Beyond


I have had depression since I was 16 on and off. Since giving birth to my first child in 2012 it came back and I have been on Fluoxetine since May 2012. I have been feeling a lot better over recent months, and my friends and family say they have all noticed how much happier I appear.

Yesterday I had my first counselling session and I feel like I have taken a huge step back. My husband asked how it went and I explained what I had talked about. We had a long chat about things, mostly my relationship with my Son and I went to bed feeling so much worse than I have for months. My fears about being a failure as a mum and a wife came flooding back and now I can't shake them.

I have my next session on Tuesday but, tbh, if they make me feel like this I am not sure I want to continue. :-(

5 Replies

Hi... yeah counselling isn't all easy... in fact actually it can be really tough. I've been through some really horrid feelings after a counselling session, but actually years on, I would never be without those tough bits. I've been through about seven years of counselling and have developed quite a good understanding of myself and skills that I can continue using to look after myself better, these are things that I wouldn't be without. In my early days counselling seemed to be making things worse, but I now see it like the teething that occurs before you get your teeth... there's some pain to get through first and then your tools for handling the more challenging bits of life emerge and you can use them well... but without the pain there's no growth and you stay on milk and mush. Perhaps that sounds a bit harsh but I'm trying to be honest with you... when I go through a painful bit in counselling I do find it hard but somewhere in me is the notion that actually when the pain has passed I'll have grown a little bit more and the fruit of my progress will be there for me to revel in. I do support that there are times when you have to pull out of counselling because the relationship between you and the counsellor just isn't working or because something in life needs to give and actually adding in trying to deal with some deeper issues isn't wise given everything else that's happening. But IF everything else is OK, then I'd stick with it for a few weeks... follow it for a while then look back and see if you've gained any thing out of it... the more effort you put into going through with counselling the more you're likely to get out of it. At first your likely to just be dealing with the surface stuff and it will take some time before you can look beneath that and check out if there are some changes you could make beneath the surface that might change what's happening on the surface of life. But remember counselling is always a choice and you can pull out if you want to.

Hope that helps, and I hope that you have the courage to persevere with it for a bit... and counselling does take courage... it's a bit like facing your fears... it can loom large for a while till you realise actually it's a kitten who's shadow makes it looks like a mighty tiger... Best wishes with it and be gentle with yourself. Try timetabling some special 'you' time just after counselling perhaps an hour or so just to let thing settle a bit... you might find your mood changes depending on what you've been talking about... sometimes I take myself for a quiet coffee, or I browse some shops (but rarely buy anything after counselling because my minds not always in a good place) or take a walk in the park or go home for a warm shower/bath, or if it was your thing perhaps a visit to the beauticians (not my kind of thing) be careful of going somewhere where you'll get more input... this can complicate and confuse things further which Is why I like to be alone for a bit... having a coffee on my own is just right for me, my thoughts gently process themselves and I rest a bit... it's a real luxury. but if I need a cry I peg it home! Also I've always kept a journal which is another good way of processing things without too much intrusion (and thereby complication) from others. Your lucky that your partner is so supportive ... it can be hard for them when they realise how much effort counselling can take... it'll be something he needs to commit to too.

Wow I've written loads! sorry, I thought I'd only write a line or two! I hope this helps... if it doesn't feel free to chuck it out with the bath water...

with much warm kindness,



Yes, counselling can be tough. I found it tough to talk about such hurtful, humiliating things to a stranger but over time have felt I can share most things with him, and it helps getting it off my chest and having a sympathetic ear, not to mention you could also be getting some practical advice.


I went to my GP for a referral in the November, and by the time I finally got to see a psychotherapist 8 months later I was pregnant. The therapist told me that I would really benefit from talking therapy, but that I would have to wait until the hormones of becoming a mum etc had settled down. It felt like such a blow to have to wait, but as she said, therapy comes with a health warning, and you need support around you when you start it properly because you will feel worse before you feel better. This is totally normal, especially if you've been keeping a lid on things for so long to keep going and be strong as a new mother.

By the time I could be booked in for the therapist (on the nhs) my child was actually 15 months old!, but it was worth the wait and over 2 years of patient therapy I really dealt with a lot of stuff, and the tools have continued to help me since. There is never a perfect time to start therapy, and it will upset your world because you have to challenge choices you've made and why you've made them, but that doesn't make the choices or you bad, it's just your life will be re-cast in a new light, of understanding yourself so much better.

I hope that makes sense, please keep up with it (unless it really isn't going well), and post on here if you're feeling overwhelmed.

Best of luck!


Please continue. I started counselling in April, I went for 3 sessions and stopped, it was to much for me to deal with. As a result I am in a much darker place now but am hoping to start again next week ( I get it through my work place) . If I had continued with it back in April I wouldn't be in this situation now. Don't give up, its hard but there is light st the end.


Talking therapies are not an easy option. I had chronic depression and anxiety issues for many years. I couldn't work for 10 years. I had been hospitalised several times I knew that I had to do something. I managed to convince my CPN to refer me to some counselling. It was very very tough and I walked out several times. I went back and was lucky that my CPN would visit the day after my sessions. After six months of counselling I started volunteering for a charity which then developed into a job. I couldn't have done it without learning to push through the hard bits and having someone to support me through it. There are loads of ways to get support and I would advise anyone going through therapy to try and find someone who you can trust to talk to.


You may also like...