Benefits of talking to someone

therapy by Nikki Paulie If you or someone you know is going through a tough time, talking to someone might sound like a simplistic solution but it really is one of the best possible things you/they can do.

Though it can be hard to build up the courage, telling someone you trust how you’re feeling can help in loads of ways:

Sorting through your feelings

Talking out loud about what’s going on in your head and explaining it to someone else, even if you think it doesn’t make sense, helps you to clarify the things that are worrying you. Saying them out loud, often makes them less scary, and at least by having to sort through your feelings you know a bit more about you’re dealing with. Keeping things inside only lets them build up and get confusing.

Putting things in perspective

If you have been keeping things to yourself a situation can seem way more overwhelming than it actually is. The person you tell might help you see the situation in a new or different perspective. Someone outside the situation will be able to be more objective about what ‘s going on and might have solutions that you hadn’t thought of.

Releasing tension

You mightn’t even realise it, but carry a worried head on your shoulders every day, full of pent-up emotions, creates a lot of physical tension too. You’d be amazed at what a release it can be to get things off your chest – your muscles can relax a bit, and you can literally feel like a weight has been lifted. And feeling good physically makes you feel better mentally. It’s all connected, see?

Deciding who to talk to

Deciding who you want to talk to is an important first step. You need to trust them, and to feel comfortable opening up to them. The possibilities include close friends (who might relate to what you’re going through) family members (who can sometimes give you great support), teachers or youth workers (who are often good listeners and trained to deal with loads of issues), or going to talk to a counsellor who’s outside the situation (sometimes the best plan).

Talking to someone outside the situation

One of the advantage of talking to someone like a counsellor who’s ‘outside the situation’ is that they don’t know your friends or your family and don’t have opinions about how you should be living your life. This means it can be easier to open up and tell them things you might not tell other people, and you don’t have to worry about them being judgemental.

What you say to them won’t leave the room, except for very particular situations where they fear for your safety or are legally obliged – check out confidentiality for more information on this. They also have experience dealing with loads of different problems, and are pretty unshockable.

If you have a particular concerns, there are also counsellors who specialise in particular issues. Some of these speciality areas include:

  • mental health issues
  • addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling)
  • sex and sexuality
  • family issues
  • eating disorders
  • pregnancy
  • family issues
  • money and housing worries
  • school and careers
  • abuse.

Counselling Directory gives you an overview of the counselling process and of the different types of counselling available, and check out the helpful sites below for more information on specific issues and services.


Comments Show all comments

  1. roisin says:

    Hi Susan,
    I'm so sorry to hear you have been so sick.
    We are based in Ireland and from your reference to 'ESA' payment it sounds like you may be based in the UK. Is this correct? If so I would advise that you contact your local citizens advise bureau. You can pop into their office for contact them by phone and they should be able to give you free confidential advise based on your individual circumstances.

    I hope this helps,

  2. Susan says:

    I need to talk to someone about what benefits I can get as I'm off sick from work I don't get sick pay and been told I can't get ESA

  3. roisin says:

    Hi Natalie,

    It must be really hard to be worrying about so many things. Feeling lost and lonely all the time doesn’t sound nice. Being hurt by someone who you thought was your friend and feeling misunderstood at home and at school must be very frustrating. This is a lot for one person to go through.

    I think your idea of talking to someone is a very good idea. It's great that you tried to talk to your year head. But if you don't tell people the truth of how you are really feeling they won't be able to help you. I think you are very mature for realising this.

    I wonder if there is a counsellor or someone else in your school that you could talk with. Maybe you could even try your year head again if you would feel comfortable with that. As you have experienced opening up to someone about everything you are going through can be really hard but it will be worth it. If you are finding it hard to talk maybe you could show them what you have written here to start the conversation. Or write your feelings down and show them.

    Just because you made one mistake doesn't make you a bad person. However I think you know that it's important that you find healthier ways to stop all of your worries that don't involve shoplifting. Speaking to a professional like a counsellor can help you come up with strategies to deal with these worries. You don't have to deal with all of this on your own.

    It sounds like you are still very worried and stressed about what happened at the supermarket. You're parents may be a bit surprised and confused about why you did what you did and they may not know how to help you. They are not mind readers. It may be a good idea to have a chat with them and explain how you have been feeling and why you think you did what you did. Maybe together you could all come up with some strategies as a family so that you can start to feel less worried about everything going on at home.

    You have already shown how brave and mature you can be by coming on here and asking for advise. I think the next step now is to talk to someone about what you are going through so that you can start to work through everything. You deserve to be happy.

    Keep reaching out,

  4. natalie says:

    I have been worrying about so many things lately I honestly don't have a clue where to start. but I am a thief and have been shoplifting until I got caught. I hate Tesco's for how they stopped me and how I got into so much trouble they even called the police I hate all of them for how it effected me I didn't add up accurately but I can guess I took around 20-30 pounds worth of stuff. I didn't seem to care about the prices I just took anything I could, doughnuts, cookies, tic tacs loads of things. I am only 13 and am in year 8 at a high school in Ipswich it hurts when ever I walk past Tesco's and I think back remembering all I took and what did I do it for - nothing. I guess it was like a way to stop all my worries taking over me. shoplifting triggered other things- teachers started to notice and asked what was going on in my head, trust me I know its not hormones. I just feel lost and lonely and it didn't help that my like only mate ditched me everyday - that's partly the reason I stole I guess. those are only a few things I am worrying about theirs my family with my annoying little siblings and strict parents who hate me for what I did and at school I get annoyed. but iv moved on a little I made new friends a little group of people who are fun I like them I try to avoid that old mate which is easy because she moved forms but I still see her round the corridors and avoid eye contact even though I have tried to move on a lot I still feel like I want to talk to someone. I talked to my head of year last week but didn't open up properly I just told her why I stole she did ask if their was anything else I wanted to talk about I wanted to stay yes but I didn't feel ready. only recently have some people started going on about tic tacs and it annoyed me they did it again today. I still have nightmares about getting arrested and going to prison, even worse I saw a police car and she was talking to my head of year then I saw a Tesco's van come in it really upset me and I ran of to my next lesson on the verge of tears only to find that old mate sitting their. I nearly snapped my pen and during lunch 2 of that little group of mates fell out with me n mate it tots sucks.

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