Counselling-advice needed

Hello. I feel that maybe I need to sit down and talk to someone but not sure how to go about it? I am struggling at the moment not soley with with my ms although I think deep down my emotions and feelings are linked to my ms. It is difficult because I do have a fantastic support system, my family, boyfriend and a small number of friends but they are too close to me and the issues I have and it’s hard to explain how I’m feeling without upsetting them although that is not what I mean to do. I just try to explain why I am upset although there isn’t really any reason for me to be feeling the way I am over silly little things! Just so difficult to say how I am feeling because a lot of the time I know it’s completely irrational but I can’t do anything to stop myself feeling the way I do. Thinking that maybe it would help to speak to someone impartial so at least what I’m saying won’t upset them! Any advice gratefully received! Thanks xx

I asked my ms nurse and she can see how much I need it. She has arranged for someone to come and see me so she or your gp should be able to help and get this organised. Hope this helps, as I to have found myself being very negative and not wanting to talk to people as I feel as though I have nothing positive to say and as I was always the one everyone came to for advice before, this is definitely not my normal reaction.

I can so understand where your coming from, I have been feeling like you do since August last year. My GP arranged counciling, but it didn’t work for me, I didn’t have a good experience with it, but hey, you probably will :slight_smile: I too have a great family, husband kids etc, but my trouble is, that I dont open up very well, if I admit to them, then I have to believe it myself, and this is what affects me, after a long time of having MS, still not a lot of people know, I don’t voulanteer this information, I’m still in denial!! Your MS team are the best people to go to, they will put you in touch with people that understand, or know exactly how to deal with it, but please don’t feel alone or scared, I have spent far to many years feeling like this, and there really is no need, as it’s all out there for you. I wish you well, keep smiling xxxx

Hi Zoe, like Shelley I can understand where you are coing from. Just reading her post it is like describing me. I too have a great husband and children and my GP, neuro and ms nurse are all brilliant. I have been going through bad depression lately and my doctor has offered me counselling. The trouble is after reading a lot of posts on here I don’t think I would be any better off or even worse off. My family say they know how I feel but I don’t think they can. The only people I think can understand are people like you lovely lot who are going through the same thing and reading your posts and helpful tips helps me feel a bit better. :slight_smile:

So true Nanny, I have gained so much just by reading and commenting on posts, as there is no-one giving you those pitying eyes, or worse still, when you find the courage to say how you feel, your dimissed for a better conversation grrrrrr xxx

I think you should seriously consider counselling. I’ve talked to two different counsellors about my feelings about my MS. The first one was about as much use as a chocolate teapot. The second one was recommended by my neuro physio, because she had helped another MS patient my physio sees. When I spoke to her it became obvious that she had counselled several people with MS and she was a big help to me. Expensive, tho - £45 an hour.

I have had counselling a few times. Sometimes our problems are very complex and likely to change at a moments notice (that describes MS, doesn’t it?!?) so we do need more than one block of counselling sessions. I’ve had a few myself. A crisis appears and and drags up all sorts of hidden stuff.

I’d say definitely give it a good go. I was referred by my GP, which can take a while to set up. I have also had counselling at our local MS therapy centre as I realised at that point I needed immediate help. As far as the NHS is concerned I am now ‘in the system’ and have access to further help. The counsellor at the MS therapy centre in Bradley Stoke, Bristol is very nice and am happy to recommend her to anyone with MS.

Take care,


You have summed up the reasons I went for counselling very eloquently!

The process helped me a lot, and I hope it helps you too.



Meant to say - a good place to start is your GP surgery. Often they will have an arrangement with a local counsellor they recommend if people ask. I was lucky and took that recommendation and it was a good one. Such a counsellor will certainly be accredited to BACP, and this is hte qualification you should look for if you are looking yourself (Google will help). Unless you are very lucky and can get a referral for some paid-for sessions from your GP (rare these days: they are mostly just CBT, which can be very good, but probably is not what you are looking for here), you will have to pay. If this is a problem, don’t despair: there are some counselling organisations that will help and will ask for a contribution from their clients, but will adjust to what the client can afford. If this all sounds like just another hurdle to climb, don’t worry. It’s a world many of us have found ourselves becoming familiar with, and it’s not that bad really.



There is a bit of a difference between “CBT” and “Counselling”.

CBT is concerned with getting you do do a range of activities that will help you confront your problems. You can get a flavour of these by searching for “CBT Workbook” - there are several that you can download for free and try for yourself. Of course, there are some flavours of CBT to stay well away from as being technically (and maybe ethically) dubious.

OTHO, counselling is about getting you to do one specific thing - talking about it - that will help you to confront your problem.

A really good counsellor is experienced in just asking you enough questions to get you talk - and it is you talking that really makes the difference. It matters little whether you talk to family, friends, colleagues or a counsellor, as long as you talk. Thing is, you will get a good result much quicker with a good counsellor guiding you.

Your surgery, or your nearest MS Centre will almost certainly be able to help you find a good counsellor.


The dreaded typos strike again - should have been OTOH. That will teach me to preview even a short post!


I have also had a couple of groups of CBT sessions - cognitive behavioural therapy. Like with counselling I needed a second ‘go’. I made some progress, but needed more support to help me find my strategies to forget the bad and unhelpful things I’ve learned about myself. The therapists helped me work out what I believed about myself (I am a really nasty person because I fell over for example) and look at it to recognise how totally bizarre and wrong it is. Then look at where those beliefs come from, and learn to remember the better things other people have said to me. My Dad always told me he loved me and that I was his favorite daughter. I was his only daughter, but that’s not the point :slight_smile:

I wear an elephant charm around my neck these days to remind me of the nice, positive things my Dad used to say to me. Rather than the very judgemental put-down stuff my Grandma taught my Mum, and then me. My Dad was Danish so a nice Danish elephant charm has a lot of positive connotations for me.

I would always suggest people think seriously about any type of talking therapy. In the NHS you get a block of sessions, which may be extended. I got 8 sessions of counselling which were extended to 12. I need more help than could be covered 12 sessions. It’s OK to say that counselling helps but you can never get to the point where you can say you’re ‘sorted’ when you have something like MS! I’ve had three massive crises since the first round of counselling. I’ve faced up to maybe never working again (I can’t say never), never have enough energy to do the things I used to, and life chucks totally unexpected spanners in the works. I have learned that it’s OK to ask for help. And feel good about myself when I do. That’s where I think the MS Therapy Centre will be a total, literal lifeline for me. It has been for me already. I’m not ready for taking advantage of other help they can give me. Yet. That’s OK too. Remember what they say in the ads - ‘because we’re worth it’. Talking therapies can help us to believe we are worth it! The best thing is that you don’t have to worry about whether the person you are talking to is judging you. You don’t have to consider their feelings, which you can’t avoid when you talk to someone you care about. Their reaction isn’t important, but my Mum’s reaction has the power to destroy you! I broke my ankle and needed my Mum to be my Mummy. She said ‘why does it always happen to you’. That still hurts massively 15 years on!

Enough of the essay! Take care,


Thanks for the advice everyone! I really appreciate it! I think I’m going to speak to my MS nurse and have a look at maybe going to my local MS centre. I don’t have the money to pay for counselling, which may be a problem but if I need to I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it! Although I do still drive I don’t like driving too far or to places I’m not familiar with so I’m going to have to overcome that as well to get to the MS centre! But I think I need to give it a go! Thanks again! Hope you are all well! xx

Hi I would thoroughly recommend you ask your GP to refer you for a course of CBT. In my working life I have seen fantastic outcomes as a result but that was re behavioural issues. I was dubious about commencing upon it myself as I thought, how the hell does this help with illness, so delayed for a while. But with my GP’s persistence, I agreed and now, 6 sessions in, can honestly say the benefits have been immense and I wish they didn’t have to end !! I use MHCO and have telephone sessions because of my mobility issues. Xx

It is terrible feeling like this. Yes I do too! It My MS nurse says it is part of the MS, My GP has given me someone to contact for counselling - worth trying.She has been really helpful and really understanding. Let you know how I go on. Go and see the MS nurse for help with where to go and see someone.x

This is my first posting on this site and the very reason I joined it. I too swing from high to low where moods are concerned. I find I try and over compensate for my ms by volunteering to help in local activities. This has become a nightmare. We all know the decreasing circle this leads to thereby not enhancing our state of mind at all. And do people really understand MS ? I am not sure they do. It’s not really up there is it . I have had grief counselling which was appropriate at the time. My husband and daughter are fantastic as are my friends , but we don’ tell all do we. I know I paint a facade , literally with good make up, but it’s not the full picture. Lately I have been trying self help as I feel I need to empower myself to make some tough decisions and trim some of the more draining aspects from my life. I have to say it has helped. Although not quite trimming the secateurs are out.