“It’s okay to make mistakes. We’re supposed to make mistakes. No one is expected to be perfect.”
Ever since I’ve known Paul, he’s always worked incredibly hard towards his aim of becoming a therapist. He was one of the few people when we were at university who had a very clear goal in his mind of what he wanted to do and actually stuck with it; getting numerous qualifications, doing volunteer work and moving around the UK to finally become fully qualified.
Paul’s line of work has always fascinated me and I thought it was a perfect time, given the huge surge in mental health awareness and the tragic increase in suicide rates and loneliness, to speak with him about what he sees on a day-to-day basis, as well as any advice he can bring to the table for people either going through their own mental health problems, or those who need reassurance in speaking to someone.
I find Paul’s words really reassuring when we talk about emotions, especially when he describes how some emotions are often put into a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bucket. Of course a range of emotions is necessary for day-to-day living. We can’t be happy all the time, it’s unnatural to be so – but often in today’s society, especially with social media showing a one-sided or, in some cases, completely fictitious, view of someone’s life, we forget that sadness, grief and anger are all necessary and natural emotions to feel.
It’s also interesting to hear how, as a therapist, Paul’s job isn’t to help people get rid of certain types of emotions, but learn to process and accept them. One of the terms he uses that will really stick with me is around us learning to have a better relationship with our emotions, rather than just numbing them.
I hope you find my conversation with Paul useful. I’ve dropped some links below in case you wanted to do some further research or are suffering with any of the issues that we discuss. None of the links below should ever compensate in speaking with your GP or doctor.
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