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A Mental Health Journey – Week 8

The last time we spoke with Gabriella, she had just spent an intense hour-long session with UFV’s counsellors, breaking down her memories.

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By Katherine Gibson (The Cascade) – Email

Online March 31, 2014

The last time we spoke with Gabriella, she had just spent an intense hour-long session with UFV’s counsellors, breaking down her memories.

So, during her session this week, the counsellor checked in with Gabriella, making sure that she was doing okay after having such an emotional last session. The counsellor also asked Gabriella to consider how the memory felt to her now a week later.

For Gabriella, it was the counsellor’s dedication to “self-discovery,” rather than imposing her own interpretation of the memory, that was appreciated and reflected on the most.

“She didn’t sit there and tell me, ‘this is why you are this way.’ It’s all very self-discovery [based],” explains Gabriella. “Throughout all these sessions, obviously [the counsellor] is guiding, but it’s not anything where [they’re] like, ‘this is why you feel this way’ with the stereotypical clipboard.”

Gabriella also asserts the importance of having someone, like UFV’s counsellors, there to help guide you through your own memories, noting that the exercise would not have had the same level of success had she been analyzing the situation on her own.

“I think it’s really important to have someone else guide you through [memory examinations],” she goes on. “Having [the counsellor] guide you through that really takes you out of having to think and lets you feel what you’re feeling,” Gabriella says. “After going through, it makes more sense now and that was just one memory -— could you imagine if we did more?”

In the future, Gabriella hopes to do more memory examinations, reflecting that there is importance in taking the time to stop and break down what has made us the way we are.

“It’s a matter of trying to cope with the whirlwind that gets thrown at you and being able to move through that the best that we can,” says Gabriella. “We don’t have time to sit there and process all the time.

“[The counsellor] didn’t ask me to be okay with it, or accept it, or understand,” Gabriella concludes. “It’s just a matter of this happened, this is what I’m feeling, and then being able to lessen that suffering.”

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