September Blues

We have just passed the last bank holiday before the festive season, the motorways are clogged with returning holiday makers, and it feels like there is an air of ‘back to school’ around for everyone, regardless of their age. It’s that time of year when, despite the fact that many of us finished our time in education a long time ago, we tend to start thinking about new directions, moving on and starting afresh.


After the summer lull it often feels that September is the time to ‘get serious’ again. Perhaps you have been thinking about making some changes or dealing with some things that have been going on in your life for a while, but have been delaying acting until after the summer break. Or perhaps you’ve been feeling dissatisfied in your work, relationship, or life situation in general and it’s starting to get you down. Maybe there are things that you want out of life which you are yet to get, and want to start working towards.


At The Grove we understand how difficult it can be to take those first steps to affect change. It can be hard to step out of your comfort zone, and difficult feelings may arise that make it hard to work towards getting the life you really want. It’s not easy to ‘start again’, especially within a culture that values ‘arriving’ at an end point rather than working towards something. Oliver Burkeman, writing in The Guardian at the start of 2013, references the book Netherland, by Joseph O’Neill, about a banker comparing post-age 40 ways of life in London and New York, and concluding that: “In London…people older than 40 considered themselves “over the hill and entitled to an essentially retrospective idea of [life]”, as if all the exciting stuff were behind them, whereas in New York “selfhood’s hill always seemed to lie ahead, and to promise a glimpse of further, higher peaks”.


Burkeman writes that many of us “labour under what they call the “end-of-history illusion”, imagining that the person we are now is the final version”, which can make us resistant to change and development and leave us in a place where, even if we are unhappy or dissatisfied with our lives, we ‘soldier on’ rather than stopping to assess what we can do to make positive changes, or putting any plans into action. And often old and outdated patterns of thoughts and behaviours, and ways of being, hold us back without us even realising it.


At The Grove we have plenty of experience of working with people who want to change their lives and come for counselling to support them in doing so. We understand that things that have happened in the past can affect us and may hold us back from becoming who or what we really want to be, and we can work with you to uncover what is going on for you and what is preventing you from making changes. We will support you in your transition and provide a place where you can explore your values and ideals, before making any rash decisions. Let’s talk first, and uncover a bit more about who you really want to be and where you really want to go, and then we work together to help get you there.