Up until a relatively short time ago, many of us felt very reluctant to talk opening about our feelings or our emotions and concerns, believing that instead we need to put on a brave face, stiff upper lip, don’t wash your dirty linen in public! However, more recently, we have seen a big change in views and now understand the importance of “talking”! We have seen celebrities on public advertisements promoting the importance of talking therapy and sharing and also young Royals talking openly about their own mental health.

So, what is counselling and how can “talking” help to care for our mental health? The first thing to understand is counselling is not about giving advice or telling you what to do. Counselling is about providing a safe and supportive space to enable you to talk freely about any issues or concerns that you may have, without being judged or discriminated.

Talking therapy enables you to explore within yourself your feelings and emotions and concerns and together, with the therapist, consider alternative and more positive responses. This safe environment will provide you with complete confidentiality allowing you to talk to someone who is empathetic but will not tell you what to do.

It is important to understand that each and every one of us is different and will respond and react in different ways, even if we are experiencing similar issues. Talking therapy is a belief that only you know what is best for you and you have the answer to help yourself. The therapist is there to facilitate this and to guide you through to a positive outcome.

There are many different styles of counselling and talking therapies, and some counsellors may choose to specialise in a particular modality, whilst others may prefer to offer a more integral style covering various different methods. It is important to consider the style that is likely to suit you most to ensure you feel comfortable, however the most important factor is the relationship with the Counsellor. This relationship will have a significant impact on any successful outcome and so it is important that you have respect and trust for each other that will enable a strong rapport to develop.

HASAG Asbestos Disease Support have recently decided to explore the benefits that counselling can provide its patients and their families and with the help of the Hampshire Association for Counselling Psychotherapists (HACP) they will soon be able to provide this additional resource to all of their patients and their families. This new service which will be funded totally by HASAG Asbestos Disease Support, will be offered to any patient that has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma or any asbestos-related disease or any family member.

For further information on this new counselling service being offered by HASAG Asbestos Disease Support or if you simply want someone to talk to while facing an asbestos-related diagnosis then please get in touch with HASAG.