“ I had been signed off work for about a week when my place of work referred me to 1 to 1 telephone counselling .
My extended series of counselling sessions lasted from March through to the end of June 2020.
The depression was severe : looking back , it was all- enveloping so only possible to , as it were, step outside it with a really gargantuan effort. Mornings were typically the worst ; thoughts of ending my life and ( non specific) plans to do so were skimming around a lot in the early stages of this depressive disorder .
It would be impossible for me here to do full justice to Kay Johnson’s counselling sessions ; amongst many many other things she encouraged me to keep a depression diary - to encourage reflection - which I proceeded to do . There were many ‘breakthrough’ moments - for example when she explained that there was a link between our actions , our thoughts and our feelings - so starting with holding my head UP rather than shrinking into myself in my stance and gait - would be likely to impact on feelings & thoughts . She also advised me to take 20-30 minutes each day simply ‘zoning out’ : my brain, as it’s being affected by quite a severe illness , needs time & space ( more than it would usually do) to ‘re - jig’ itself .
These ‘zone outs’ proved so refreshing and really invaluable.- thoughts went into ‘free flow’ or ‘free fall’ & I was naturally doing what she had encouraged me to do - namely ‘building up positives , focussing on places or things which I like & love & find enriching ( e.g beautiful paintings , scenery & panoramic views in NW & W . Wales , planning imaginary games of tennis etc).
Kay was alert, sensitive and humorous ; I leaned very heavily on these sessions and have voluminous ( and I trust helpful) notes from each of them . She went the extra mile by pushing for us to have sessions beyond what had been allocated - for which I shall be for ever grateful and appreciative .
We formed a superb rapport & her insight , professionalism , warmth and sheer commitment to what she was doing combine to make this , for me, a truly outstanding and exemplary work . And of course a vital lifeline for a messed up, severely depressed middle-aged male ... who is now very much on the mend and just starting to be phased back in to his place of work again .
A huge thank you to Kay Johnson for such high calibre input and professionalism”.
Thank you very much
I would like to thank you for listening to me and being so understanding about what I have been through.
You have helped me more that you can know and given me back faith in people and hope back into life that seemed so dark and empty.
You've helped give me a place to be honest and say things without being judged and its helped massively.
You are caring, approachable and fun.
When I was in a bad place you were there for me. I would go as far to say you may have saved my life. A massive thank you for that.
You helped me to learn more about thinking positively with my thoughts and life situations.
I have really enjoyed the humorous and supportive environment that you have created in your sessions and I have found it a lot easier to open up than I anticipated.
Thank you for all you did for me when I lost my mum, talking to me and telling me there is light at the end of the tunnel. You are a very caring lady with a big heart of pure gold. You are such a kind considerate lady.
Changed my way of thinking, not worrying about trivial things.
No more unhelpful thoughts changed my thought process using rational thoughts. Live in the here and now, not predicting the future anymore.
Using the techniques suddenly thinking about situations and how to solve them.
I found by learning about different techniques helped with my anxiety, becoming more aware of when I am anxious.
Talking to others and sharing experiences. Sense of humour really helps to make you feel comfortable.
Thank you so much for listening and for your wise words ... and for always putting a smile on my face! Its time for me to put what I've learned into practice and to move forward with a song in my heart and a spring in my step.
Although things are far from perfect, they are a lot better than this time last year and I’d say that is more down to speaking with you than to the medication. I feel I’m more aware of everything that is going on now and I can address the issues before they get me down like they used to and you have taught me a lot of things that will help me forever.
I found the group discussions and getting to use the tools in the workshops really helpful.
The understanding way the course is delivered and the fact the tools have been very useful.