Sam Horrocks Counselling in 2018 – a year in the life

It’s that time of year when I take some time to reflect on the previous year, so I thought I would share with you some of what happened with Sam Horrocks Counselling in 2018 – boy does it feel like it went quick!

On a day to day basis I was fortunate enough to be able to work with 26 new clients during the course of 2018 plus 7 returning clients, add that to the 17 or so clients that carried over from the previous year and it would be safe to say it was a very busy year. I averaged about 5 or 6 new enquiries a week and it’s hard to turn people away, but unfortunately I am not always in a position to take on everyone that enquires.  Having said that, it’s always a privilege to be chosen by a new client and by default this means that I have to have a number of endings within my working year, last year that totalled 11. No matter how many years I have done this job, endings are always a mix of emotion for me. I am always pleased that the client feels the time is right to go it alone (which of course means the work is done for now) but there is often a tinge of sadness at the relationship coming to an end.

Sometimes I get asked ‘what do you specialise in’ and honestly I find it really difficult to answer that question!  Counselling is ultimately based on the relationship between counsellor and client. In a nutshell the counsellor needs to be able to empathise and experience the client’s world and point of view.  What that means is that I don’t want to stick with just one or two issues within my work, what’s important to me is that the client feels validated and understood whatever their range of issues. As an example, at a quick glance I will share with you some of the issues that came up in my counselling room last year:- abuse, adoption, loss and bereavement, anger, bereavement by suicide, loss by miscarriage, illness, fertility, anxiety, menopause, infidelity, relationships, autistic spectrum condition ASD (aspergers), family, mother daughter relationships, loss of a parent, depression, gender identity, self harm, trauma, procrastination, overwhelm, OCD, intrusive thoughts, self esteem, confidence, health, loss of a sibling, bullying, stress, work, bereavement of a child and divorce.  Some of these I have linked to other articles that I have written but as you can see it’s a very varied list.

As some of you know I do an odd bit of networking and last year I joined a new networking group called Free Range Women in Business, run by the lovely Jane Cooke.  It meets monthly and each time involves a couple of mini workshops run by Jane and also by a guest speaker. Running a business from home can be quite a challenge when you realise you are responsible for absolutely everything, from marketing, accountancy, tissue replacement, health and safety as well as actually doing the job you are trained to do and whilst I wouldn’t want to change this for an instant, it can be good to have some external input to help keep focus.  This group is a great opportunity to look at my business and what direction I want it to take. The group members offer a sense of collegial support and encouragement to try new things and build confidence – this years challenge (2019), is for me is to add some videos to my website so watch this space! Of course meeting people from other businesses means I get the chance to understand more about other therapies and during the last year I learned a little more about life coaching, hypnotherapy and applied kinesiology.  Members of the group have also shared their knowledge about marketing, branding and how to take better photos for your website amongst other things.

Part of being a registered BACP Counsellor means I have to continue my professional development with training and learning and with the use of the internet this has become easier over the years.  Last year, I attended a number of workshops on subjects such as procrastination, autistic spectrum condition ASC (Aspergers), cognitive behavioural therapy CBT, the importance of sleep, and the impact of trauma on the self.  I watched a number of TV programmes and listened to podcasts to find out more about aspergers and gender identity issues. I also listened to a fascinating audiobook called The Power of Habit: why we do what we do by Charles Duhigg to learn more about this subject.  If you follow my facebook or twitter you will know I am really interested in how to break old habits and form new ones. Of course, last year was the deadline for being GDPR compliant, so I attended a few business workshops to learn as much as I could about this subject and spent time making sure my own privacy policies are in line with the Information Commissioner’s Office requirements.

I was asked in a group the other day to consider what I want for my business this year going forward and whether what I had last year is what I want this year. Having given it some thought I can honestly say ‘yes it is’. I had some amazing clients last year (and every year) and feel really honoured to have been part of their life’s journey.  I believe I am attracting the clients I am meant to work with and that are being sent by the universe. I have already booked in some training for 2019 and have a never ending list of audiobooks on my ‘to do’ list.  I have set myself some personal goals that I would like to achieve and I want to be more mindful of when I get derailed from them. For now I look forward to continuing on your journey with you and to forging relationships with any new clients and colleagues alike.