King's Lynn counsellor now provides a lifeline to many
After a serious illness, Sarah Hobday’s doctor issued a dire health warning – she would only regain 65 percent of her energy. But after a year of rest, journaling and prayer, Sarah had the direction and enthusiasm for a new beginning. She trained as a counsellor – providing a lifeline to many on the brink of despair – and opened her own practice at King’s Lynn this summer. Sandie Shirley reports.
Sitting with someone for an hour a week can be life-changing. They can turn their lives around when hope sparks in their eyes through revelation,” says Sarah.
“I love to see people who were hopeless, lost and overwhelmed see new opportunities and no longer need counselling because they have got the job, made the move, or experienced the breakthrough they needed.”
Sarah’s counselling career came after struggling with isolation and helplessness during ME/CFS when she was forced to give up her job as a nursery nurse. “When I wrestled with ME I was so tired I could not pick up the telephone and speak to someone and I longed for someone to sit with me and listen.
“As a nursery nurse, I would get alongside struggling children to help them find solutions, now I am doing something similar with adults which I love and see as a privilege.”
Sarah’s training at the London School of Theology and Waverley Abbey College in Surrey included a practical placement in Norwich. Three years on she is ready to receive clients at the King’s Lynn Innovation Centre and pass on her knowledge to organisations and other counsellors in the county.
“During my time at the London School of Theology I learnt a lot of sound doctrine and background to spirituality – invaluable for understanding the struggles that are peculiar to Christians. But although I am a Christian counsellor, I want to be able to offer excellent care and provision to everyone.”
Sarah continues to volunteer as a counsellor one day a week for a charity in Norwich which welcomes clients referred by charities and organisations, as well as self-referrals. Clients may be facing relationship issues, crisis situations, anxiety and depression or seeking reconciliation for past decisions explains Sarah.
Other clients may be homeless, unemployed or disenfranchised and feel their lives are over as they struggle with identity, addiction and mental health issues.
“When someone is unemployed, long-term, there is enormous pressure on them to apply for around 24 jobs a week which is a huge burden especially if they failed at school or have dyslexia. Often the job of a counsellor is to sign post clients to other agencies as well as, or instead of, providing counselling support,” says Sarah. “I might be the first person to have heard that person’s story and therefore the first person to identify patterns or issues which may be impacting the client’s ability to move forward.”
“In King’s Lynn there are a number of charities and organisations providing frontline support for those with mental health issues which indicates the need for support, and I’m excited to be a part of the community.”
Sarah has a diploma of higher education (DipHE) in integrative counselling and is continuing her studies to become a supervisor and tutor.
Contact Sarah at King’s Lynn Innovation Centre, Innovation Drive, PE30 5BY, email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 07565 768163
Pictured above is counsellor Sarah Hobday.