Kay Beardsley’s monthly life blog – Cut Open – October 2020


kay beardsley counselling

My name is Kay and I’m a recovering alcoholic

Cut Open. October 2020.


At the moment the title cut open is very apt, I’m feeling raw and tiered. I’m also quite busy and in the process of creating a training course/workshop focusing on helping other counsellor’s work with clients struggling with alcohol addiction.

I’m going to stop writing my ‘life blog’ for a while however there will be other blogs and I may return to my life blog at some point. – I’ll let you know when I get my book published!

So why did I decide to share my life?

Well… I’m not saying I have the answers (you have those) or that I know what you’re going through however, I thought if I shared a little of my self you (the client or potential client) could see who you’re seeing or could chose to see!

Or if you’re someone who has simply chosen an interest in reading this, you too have seen a glimpse of me.

By sharing myself I hope to help those of you who are suffering and reluctant to talk.

I hope my story will become part of your awakening and survival.

So over to you – you can now decide for yourself what you want to do next.

My self disclosure is not to say I’m an expert in working with alcohol addiction or self harm and your experiences will be different to mine however, if you’re suffering with these issues you may feel encouraged to seek me out?

Counselling and self disclosure:

In general self disclosure is appropriate when it enhances and furthers the therapeutic process and the relationship.’

 After a revelation of an experience of shame: ‘The therapist’s account of a similar experience may bolster the patient’s expansion while decreasing the possibility of humiliation.

Stephen Zahm www.stephaniesabar.com

No therapist can confidently invite his client to travel further than he himself has journeyed.’ Brian Thorne (Person Centre Theory, internet)

A therapist who is not afraid to enter the experience of the darkest and most painful moments of clients’ lives is a therapist who has done her own therapy. She has been helped by someone else to face her own fears and feel what she could not bear to feel alone.

 If you haven’t faced what hurts you, you will flinch away from clients’ stories in order to protect yourself from your own history.

 Owen Renik’s metaphor for the therapist’s engagement in the therapy process is playing with your cards face-up.’ Book: Relational Psychotherapy, by Patricia A. De Young.

Secrets keep you sick! Hiding from others and yourself is not healthy.

It is a joy to be hidden and a disaster not to be found:

 I often think of this quote from Winnicott when I meet people who are hidden or very well defended, often both from me and themselves and the rest of the world, and at the same time really sad about it. The impact of this on me is, of course, linked to my own experiences in therapy. We all strive to be found, to be seen, as infants, as children and as adults. The hiding is a strategy that we have found to be effective in taking care of ourselves, yet like children playing hide and seek, we long to be found. There is nothing worse than hearing the game going on around you and feeling that nobody cares enough to come and find you. We all seek relationships with others where we feel that we are recognised and valued for ourselves. This is an ordinary human response. However for those who have not been recognised as children or feel they have never been seen, it can be a both terrifying and alluring possibility. I often meet people in my practice who seem to live this tension – they long to be recognised, to be held, as Winnicott would have said, and yet somehow, can’t bear the thought of that. Some of the most powerful moments in psychotherapy are when that happens, when the two people in the room are able to really see, and be seen by each other. Stern and others talk about these as ‘moment’s of meeting’ and suggest that these moments can have a profound impact. What psychotherapy ideally offers, in this context, is a safe place where people can explore these tensions and become able to allow them selves to be ‘found’, maybe for the first time in their adult lives. This process can be quite liberating. It supports a sense of the possibility of growing into yourself, of moving nearer to who you know you are somewhere inside and letting someone else see that for a moment. I know that for myself that moment of discovering something about myself in the company of a trusted other, is both profound and liberating. Most importantly I think it supports me to continue to be myself.’ D W Winnicott – Playing and Reality D Stern – The Interpersonal World of the Infant.

For me; counselling is sharing your life story with someone by your side.

A therapist is someone you can talk to; someone who will really listen and reflect back; so you can understand and see what you’re saying. A therapist will encourage you to discover your patterns and look at your thoughts, feelings and behaviours so you can work out and understand what you really mean and what you really want.

I’m not promising you an easy journey however you don’t have to take that journey alone.

I’d love for you to feel how gratifying it is to hear your problems outloud; to be no longer silenced by shame and isolation, and to experience a deep connection with someone; often speaking without words.

Shame is like a burn. And talking about it is like having to strip the dead skin away so that it can heal.’ Book: Relational Psychotherapy, by Patricia A. De Young.

Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.’ Robin Sharma

Every journey begins with a single step it’s up to you to make the first move.

No positive change can occur in your life as long as you cling to the thought that the reason for your not living well lies outside yourself. As long as you place responsibility entirely on others who treat you unfairly – loutish husband, a demanding and unsupportive boss, bad genes, irresistible compulsions – then your situation will remain an impasse. You and you alone are responsible for the crucial aspects of your life situation, and only you have the power to change it. And even if you face overwhelming external restraints, you still have the freedom and the choice of adopting various attitudes toward those restraints.

One of Nietzsche’s favourite phrases is amor fati (love your fate): in other words, create the fate that you can love. Book: Staring at the Sun by Irvin Yalom.

Therapy has enabled me to recognise and work with my Borderline Personality Adaptation and contain my out of control emotions. I now have a much better understanding of myself.

I’ve worked through my introjects of I’m thick, I’m stupid, I’m not clever and I could list all my achievements since leaving school if I wanted to but I don’t need to prove myself to anyone anymore.

I bloody love myself now and I love life!

I hope counselling will give you a purpose in life and put a smile firmly in your heart.

A world awaits us that is more beautiful than we have the power to imagine.’ Russel Brand


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