As a Counsellor working in The Reach Approach one of my favourite aspects of my work is taking the journey of Forgiveness and Gratitude with my clients. The concept is beautifully simple yet the results of its application are almost always profound. In a nutshell we are saying that any client seeking peace of mind and freedom from their issues will always find immense benefit in taking the journey of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the act of consciously choosing to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and to forgive others for where we feel they have wronged us. It means recognising that resentment and blame are toxic to our minds, bodies and spirits and keep us stuck in a cycle of waste. By exercising our personal responsibility we learn that through forgiveness we have the power to resolve all our past traumas, hurts, pains, anger and issues and in doing so we set ourselves free. We cannot change our pasts but we can always change the way we relate to them and this is a vital step that we use in helping our clients move from a place of victimhood to victory.

It is so humbling to watch this process in action as it never fails to deliver. Whatever the ailment or issue may be, depression, anxiety, phobias, fear, panic, grief, addictions…….., if we can help our clients to find it in their hearts to forgive and let go they will take a huge step towards resolving their past and overcoming their issues. This then frees them up to embark on a life of gratitude which ignites their spirit and love for life in a way that never fails to amaze me.

An attitude of gratitude starts by giving thanks for everything we have, especially the little things that we so often take for granted. We develop this practice until it turns into a true, deep rooted appreciation for all that we are and all that we have. Gratitude has the power to fundamentally change our perceptions and thus transform our lives. Bearing in mind that it is our perceptions that shape our reality, surely it makes sense to do everything we can to change these perceptions and gratitude is immensely powerful in this process. The more grateful we are the less time, space and tolerance we have for negative or destructive thoughts and behaviours.

It is a wonderful thing to witness, when a client begins to reap the rewards of embracing the power of thank you. The truth is that a grateful mind has no room for complaint and the more grateful we are, the more we have to be grateful for. “A life of gratitude soothes hurt and pain, evaporates anger and reframes your perspective. If you do one thing today, let it be to say thank you with all your heart”. Easton Hamilton, Synergy: A Cure for All Ills.

Jo Kilburn, Assistant Director

The Reach Approach