Last weekend, Mariella Frostrup wrote about what she has learnt after 10 years in post as an agony aunt. Not quite 10 years in post, but over 7 years of nearly full-time psychotherapy and counselling teaches me a few things about us human creatures too, or at least those who seek emotional support via talking therapy.

In no particular order, I often hear:

  • ‘I have no time’ – life is too fast, with too much to do. Looking after ourselves cannot be prioritised.
  • Self-compassion feels self-indulgent (this is linked to the first – prioritising time or money or activitiy for ourselves feels selfish)
  • Compassion for those I love is easy however.
  • ‘I don’t like asking for help’
  • (For many working mothers) ‘I have to do all the thinking for the family and I’m tired of it’
  • ‘I’m shit scared of becoming my mother’ (exceptions obviously)
  • (For many high-achieving professionals) ‘I feel an imposter. As if the fraud squad will bust me any minute.’
  • ‘I have no right to be unhappy. My life on paper is perfect.’
  • ‘This sounds ridiculous but…..(something perfectly reasonable then said)’