I’ve been thinking a lot over the last week or so in particular about how I can help people to feel better in their lives and this has led to me forming a new group (with the Meetup sites platform as the host of the group) which I have called the “Nottingham Self-Improvement Group.”
Since 2010 when joining Samaritans as a listening volunteer I have wanted to help people and what really stuck with me was how hard it is for so many people to talk about their feelings with others around them because of emotional ties and the implications of opening up. The chance to talk to people that they didn’t have a connection with really helped them to keep going which felt like a really special place to be.
If I was to summarise some of the learning that I took from Samaritans I would say the following as observations:
- People can live into old age with emotional pain from childhood
- A stranger listening to somebody in distress or despair can be invaluable help
- Being there for someone can help them to think differently about themselves and therefore their situation
- Nobody is immune from trauma, mental health problems, upset, fear, anxiety, lack of confidence etc.
- Life is no easier for you when you’re young even if you don’t have mortgages to pay, children to raise etc.
- So often people are their own biggest critics
- People can be self-limiting and often live in their own bubble, it can take others to pop it!
- Each individual person is unique and special and capable of doing more than they realise
- You never stop worrying about your children, even when they have children of their own!
I have since been studying a MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling in Nottingham but have left it after year 1 as my partner is having our first baby together and for the sake of us going forward I have put the studies off for a while – it was going to be majorly demanding!
The meetup group will run once a month in and around Nottingham and will incorporate learning that I have taken from the Psychotherapy and from running the training department with Samaritans but also with a coaching approach having studied for an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) coaching qualification this year which I started at the back end of 2014.
The spin off for me personally, as with so many people in helping/caring professions is helping me to find new insights and some nourishment for my soul (if that’s the name to give it) and because I really believe in the strength of relationships, social interaction and support which really is what the meetup group is about. It can be found at Nottingham Self-Improvement Meetup and i’ll report back on its progress as we move together; a week after launching it I have had 25 expressions of interest to be involved, exciting!