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Client X, a man in his late 40s had been absent from work for four months with a diagnosis anxiety and depression.
At the first appointment, the counsellor outlined how counselling would proceed, explaining the important issue of confidentiality.
X explained that he was a senior manager within his organisation with many years' service. Recently, his department had undergone a lot of changes and he had felt unsettled by this and that he was being 'sidelined.' He had begun to experience panic attacks on the way to work and had thought that he was having a heart attack. Investigations had ruled this out and his GP had told him that it was in all likelihood a stress response. X had been extremely shocked by this as he had always felt that he 'could deal with whatever life threw at me' and that it was 'weak to let things get to me.'
X initially felt uncomfortable talking about how he felt and the impact that this was having on his home life. As the sessions progressed, he visibly relaxed and started to talk freely, saying 'this isn't as scary as I thought it would be.' The counsellor did not give advice but allowed X to explore how the situation at work had affected him and how his behaviour had come to change as a result. As X liked to work in a practical way, the counsellor provided him with resources to use between sessions that allowed X to consider his responses to everyday occurrences and look at what changes he wanted to make.
By the end of the third session, X felt he had renewed energy for both work and home. At this point, he began a phased return to work. He had recognised that he had become stuck in the detail of problems and lost sight of the things that mattered to him. He felt confident that he would recognise the signs of depression and anxiety much earlier in the future and that he could put steps in place to ensure his ongoing emotional wellbeing.
'I never thought someone like me would need counselling. It's been truly life-changing. Now I recommend it to all my friends!'