Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Plan to provide sheds as counselling spaces

Having built my dream shed (the Fibonacci shed), writes Paul Hurst I decided to keep it for R&R only, a no work zone. My wife was also strongly in favour of me having a private ‘decompression’ space.

A counsellor and psychotherapist, I hired rooms for sessions. When one was disrupted by locals not following the booking schedule, we escaped to my shed – a safe and secure place close by and I stopped using the venue. Although advised in training to go for a neutral ‘magnolia and dried flowers’ vibe, I found that something about the building resonated with clients - especially men. Maybe the curved brick walls were comforting, or perhaps being covered in oddments rather than certificates and diplomas is more welcoming? Working relationships usually develop now far more quickly, and clients who have had trouble expressing their emotions do so freely in my shack.

Sadly, clients often come only as a last resort. Issues are best addressed earlier rather than later and resolved if possible before requiring full-on therapy. Working as a non-religious member of the local hospital chaplaincy team, we provide pastoral care, often just listening - giving people space and time to discover issues, explore and resolve them. Although simple, this can be very powerful and effective experience.

Can the benefits of this low-key approach be offered to the public at large, at places where we gather naturally? Sheds can provide small, informal, comfortable spaces to chat in (other suggestions include beach huts, boats, camper vans and black cabs). To explore the potential of this approach, I am volunteering to provide this service in the South East and London areas.

Please do let me know your shed (and non-shed) related thoughts and suggestions about possible venues and events, or if you would like to train as a volunteer! 

This is a guest post by Paul Hurst. You can email him here.

Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

No comments:

Post a Comment