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Elizabeth Downing Counsellor
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Here I will be posting news and articles that are related to counselling. I hope you find them useful.

Can you catch a ball?

Can you catch a ball?

I can’t, and I can’t throw one either.

A while ago I was asked to participate in a ‘fun activity’ that involved catching a ball and throwing it back.

I soon as I heard what we were going to do, my heart sank.

For a start, there is always a warning for me in the description ‘fun’. It’s not that I don’t like to have fun, but I know that other people’s idea of fun is often my idea of a really uncomfortable situation.

I knew what would happen. Sure enough, each time the ball was thrown towards me, it would slip through my fingers, or even worse, I’d be nowhere near catching it. My arms would seem to flail about in completely the wrong direction. I’d then have to run all over the room and crouch down to retrieve the ball. No dignity there!

Returning to the circle, I would really focus all my being on throwing the ball in the right direction, and I would completely misfire. Every single time. I couldn’t even do this activity that was designed for children! It took my mind back to my childhood, to school, when I would dread games and PE and try to get out of them. I seemed to be the only one who couldn’t do the simplest of things.

Have you ever found yourself unable to do things that everyone else can do? Things that you think you should be able to do? These experiences can bring up feelings of embarrassment, shame, burning humiliation, they can lead to teasing or bullying, and that sick anxiety that we are going to be laughed at. ‘Can’t you even catch a ball?’ ‘Can’t you even add up?’ ‘Why are you so clumsy?’ They often result in us thinking we are stupid, hiding ourselves away, avoiding experiences or people, missing out on life and not living life to its full potential.

Whether you have a diagnosis of dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia, or you just recognise yourself in some of what I’ve written here, counselling can enable you to discover your strengths and even come to like yourself, as well as gently explore how to manage your challenges. It can be a relief to feel understood and known for who you are, not for what you can’t do.

If you want to talk about the impact of your struggle to do what everyone else seems to take for granted, you might find that counselling helps to make life feel a little easier.


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