Luana’s story

Counselling offers second chance

Luana longs to be a positive influence in her sons’ lives—the kind of role model she lacked growing up. She shares how counselling with Iosis has helped her on that path.

Luana initially sought counselling for her seven-year-old son. But, when offered it for herself also, she leapt at the opportunity. She was matched with Jasmine, an Iosis counsellor.

“I had wanted to do counselling for years,” she says, “but I never found the right one. I knew I needed to make changes. Jasmine was open and I felt comfortable with her. She didn’t rush me; she just let me talk.

“She helped me realise that a lot of the difficulties I have nowadays stemmed from things that happened to me when I was a child. She taught me how to recognise a trigger, and gave me tips on how not to react straightaway. Instead I can take a step back and think back to why I could be feeling like this.

“As a child I never had the right support. So, a lot of times I would blame myself, when in reality I didn’t have the right guidance. I suppose I held on to a lot of that anger and the guilt and the blame for it. It helped me realise that I was bringing those same feelings into the present. It was something I had done all my life. So, for me it was normal.”

Now studying social work, Luana says she enjoys helping people. She is hopeful of a future working somewhere in this field, possibly with young people who have experienced abuse.

“I would love to be a ‘Jasmine’ to some girl. The younger the better. I am 43 now and I have lived my whole life like this. If only I had had that person way back when I needed it.”

Luana acknowledges counselling can be “hard and scary”.  But she encourages people nervous about it to give it a go.

“From my experience, when you know you have things in your life that have to be fixed or that are still holding you back, only good can come from counselling. Because you get the answers and you learn the skills to be able to work through your problems today. Sometimes it is hard to have to put yourself back in those places. But for me personally it was because I knew I had to change.

“Being able to do this has given me that second chance of having a better life for my children and for myself. It has given me the skills to recognise when I am slipping back into old and bad habits. I am able to stop them in their tracks and turn them around into something positive. It’s a life-changing thing. I’m so appreciative.”