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Some Victories Over Problems - Arising from Counselling

This poem was written by an 11 year old girl trying to deal with peer relationships after moving to a new school. It was written at home after our first counselling conversation and presented to me at the beginning of the second interview.

A broken puppet lies peacefully in a corner
Waiting silently for a puppeteer to rescue it
When suddenly the puppet's blanket is removed
A blanket of dust and cobwebs
I open my eyes and seek what I longed for
I longed for love and friendship
They painted me and gave me a name
And added a few new strings
I was ready to perform for viewing pleasure
But then I realised I am not a puppet
Whose strings are pulled at leisure
But I realised this too late
Before I knew it I was down on their level
Walking down their path of deceit
I didn't like that person
And I longed to be free
I longed for them to respect me
It took courage and it took might
But at least now nothing can spoil this delight


The following statement was authored by a teenage young woman student who was struggling with a father under the control of alcohol in his life. This statement was witnessed and supported by me and written during a counselling session.

I want to be in control of my own life.
I want to be free from guilt in my life!!!!
I know I'm not responsible for decisions other people make in their own lives.
I do not have to apologise to other people for the feelings they have about what they do.
I want to be myself without having to worry about what other people think about me.
Guilt and negativity are trying to take over my life.
They are lying to me and trying to cheat me into believing that I can't get close to other people because they might let me down or I'm like my dad and I might let them down.
I am proud of my achievements in life and I should be appreciated for them.
I value my friendship with people and I refuse to let guilt and negativity take away the knowledge that I know I'm OK.
Guilt and negativity are very strong influences in my life and as I get stronger I know they will get weaker.
I want them out of my life and I will win!
I am becoming the "Pauline" that I want to be and nothing can take that away from me.
I've got to the point where I will do anything to free myself from the guilt and negativity and get passed (Pauline's own spelling) it to get on with life happily.


The following are the words on a certificate that was written with me by a young man who was experiencing the effects of severe depression in his life. I co-wrote the words in consultation with the young man during a counselling conversation whilst sitting at the computer together.

CONGRATULATIONS "PAUL" on achieving Stage 1 and Stage 2 of controlling your life.

Stage 1. Telling my mum about my life properly that I have been feeling very insecure and not sure of anything at the moment and that my mind has been everywhre else.

Stage 2. Making the decision to talk with a counsellor; and to see a doctor about my health; and to take some time off work.

Successful completion of these stages means that I now have HOPE that I can see something else out there to secure myself enough to make decisions about life and to be able to talk to people about it. These people are mum and people in my family.

I now have HOPE that I can get on with the rest of my life.

This is the beginning of further stages of celebrating life and being the Paul I want to be.

Signed (by Paul)
Witnessed (by Tony)