A problem shared is a problem halved. It might be a cliché, but it's true. When you're not feeling yourself, talking things through with someone you trust can help lighten the load. It's the first step towards taking back control of your mental wellbeing.

Why does talking help?

  • Talking about something with another person allows you to see things from a different perspective. There could be another way of looking at your situation
  • Talking aloud can help you make sense of a problem and clarify your thoughts and feelings. When we're just turning things over and over in our own heads it can be difficult to see what's really going on
  • Another person may offer practical advice and solutions that you hadn't considered before
  • The simple act of being listened to often has a big impact in itself. You'll feel less alone knowing that someone is there for you. You might even discover that you're not the only one who feels the way you do
  • Sometimes just saying something aloud is immensely relieving. You may have been carrying something around in your head for a long time and talking about it can be like setting down a heavy load. You might notice your whole body relaxing as you start to talk
  • Opening up to friends and family might encourage and empower others to do the same
  • Talking openly about how you feel might seem awkward at first. Especially if you're not used to it. But it will get easier and become more natural the more you do it

Who can you talk to?

Friends and family are a great place to start. They may have already noticed that you're not quite yourself and asked if everything is ok. This can make starting a conversation a bit easier.

Having said this, it's common for people to find it difficult to talk openly with friends and family, for lots of reasons. Often they're worried about upsetting people they care about, how their relationships might be affected or that they might be treated differently. And this can affect how honest and open you are about the reality of your situation.

Sometimes it's easier to be more honest with someone you don't know. That's where counselling can help. Counselling, or talking therapy, is a chance for you to talk to someone who will listen without judgement. It offers you a safe space and dedicated time to talk openly about you. Your thoughts. Your feelings. And the real impact they have. A counsellor can offer an impartial perspective on what might be a very complex and intense situation. As someone who's not involved and with no personal agenda, they may be able to help you work through and understand things in ways that your friends and family can't.

Ask us about counselling

In the UK, CABA can arrange for you to work with a professional counsellor face-to-face, over the phone or online. We also work in partnership with Cruse Bereavement Care and Relate to offer specialist counselling support to people affected by bereavement or a difficult relationship. You can also access our 24 hour emotional support helpline wherever you are in the world.

Take the first step

You might have avoided opening up in the past, simply because you don't know where to start. How can you possibly articulate all the thoughts and feelings going round and round in your head? But there's no set script you have to follow, and no rush to get it all out at once.

When you contact CABA, our trained advisors will help you find the right words. And after that first step, you'll have the support of a professional counsellor to help you through the rest of the process. You won't be on your own. You can talk to an advisor in complete confidence, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us on +44 (0) 1788 556 366, chat to us online, complete our enquiry form or send us an email at enquiries@caba.org.uk.

Wherever you are in the world. CABA can help. All of our services are free and strictly confidential. They're available to all past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, past and present ICAEW staff and their husbands, wives, life partners and dependent children up to the age of 25.

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