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“I came to realise how strong I am for actually living with my condition”


We chat to 35-year-old Beth Graber from Cornwall about how counselling helped improve her mental health

Earlier this year, Beth undertook MS-UK Counselling sessions because she was at a time in her life where she felt she needed extra support and wanted to turn to someone neutral who could help. MS-UK provides a counselling service specifically for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), both over the telephone and via Zoom.

 What were you expecting from counselling?

I was expecting a friendly ear and possibly advice, and maybe just someone to be able to open up to.

The service was fantastic. I found comfort in the familiar voice each week and felt I could open up so much more freely over the phone, without judgement, rather than feeling anxious face-to-face. 

What benefits did you notice?

I understood more about myself, and about self-care and self-love. I realised I was being way too hard on myself. I started to understand more about why I was behaving in certain ways and instead of punishing myself, I began to take more care of myself mentally.

I realised that on the days I couldn’t physically cope, it was OK to rest and I stopped beating myself up for being ‘lazy’ – rest and recuperation are very important. I cannot blame myself for having MS and I came to realise how strong I am for actually living with my condition.

Being able to open up and ask for help from others was a big deal for me and this was made easier by having counselling. 

Did it benefit any of your personal relationships?

I felt I could open up more to friends and family, so this made it easier to communicate. I started to be more honest and not hide things, or how I felt. I was also able to ask for help.  

What would you say to someone with MS who is struggling to cope? 

I would say definitely try counselling. Having someone at the end of the phone to listen and just be there makes you feel so much better. If you are like I was, and keep in how you feel and don’t look after yourself emotionally, you will definitely see the benefits with counselling. It’s very true what people say – it’s good to talk! 

Find out more about MS-UK Counselling