Chrissy* first contacted our Telephone Counselling service in 2007 for support with her relationship with her son and her reactions in times of stress. Living on a large, isolated wheat and sheep property in the Wimmera region, she felt unable to access counselling because of the three-hour journey to the nearest service and due to the stigma associated with counselling that still exists in her small rural community. Chrissy also felt that she wasn’t unable to talk about her concerns with her family and that there was an element of secrecy and shame in talking about problems within her friendship groups and social networks.
Our counsellor talked to Chrissy about how to safely start difficult conversations with her son and talk to her family about her concerns, and supported Chrissy to seek help from other services including women’s health agencies. The counselling sessions worked on understanding Chrissy’s past and its impacts, and her emotional reactions, and on identifying practical strategies to manage times of distress, such as focusing on her physical reactions and taking time out.
On several occasions, Chrissy has attended a joint Telephone Counselling appointment with her partner, which Chrissy says has positively impacted their relationship and would have otherwise been impossible due to their day-to-day responsibilities on the farm.
Over the last 12 years, Chrissy, now aged 55, has used Telephone Counselling periodically when she felt she needed additional support or as new challenges have arisen. She’s reported that she’s found the service to be invaluable, in providing her with privacy and convenience at home while receiving support from a counsellor who knows her history and understands her circumstances. Without this service, Chrissy has said that she would not be able to commit to getting the external support she has needed to manage her emotional needs and concerns.
She is a strong advocate of telephone counselling, with members of her wider family and members of the local community having also used our service as a result of her recommendations.
* Name has been changed. Image for illustrative purposes only.
Please note: this is not a crisis service. If you’re in immediate need, please call 000 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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