I found myself curiously resistant to blogging and wondered what that was about. When I asked for suggestions for topics I was told to write about ‘anything you see in the news that you have an opinion about.’ Therein lies the problem; I feel uncomfortable about publishing my opinions.

Where does this discomfort come from?

I was born in the 1950s when people told children things like;

  • ·         ‘Little girls should be seen and not heard’
  • ·         ‘Don’t make a show of yourself’
  • ·         ‘Sit down, no one wants to look at you’
  • ·         ‘No one likes a show off’

Later, in counselling training I was taught that the important thing is to listen to what the client thinks about things (the counsellor’s opinion being mere ‘baggage’ to be kept out of the way.)  So no wonder it feels wrong to be encouraged to post my opinions online; whoever would want to read them, I ask myself?

This line of thought led me to mull over the way young people see what I call ‘self-promotion’ as acceptable, even desirable. They discuss all sorts of things in cyberspace that previous generations would have kept in the private domain. (And as for the way people ‘wash their dirty linen’ in public on Jeremy Kyle; don’t get me started on that!) Does this mean, I wondered, that they are more likely to open up in a counselling situation; are they freer communicators than their forebears?

But student and school counsellors tell me it is very hard to get many of the troubled youngsters they see to talk. So why would someone be willing to tell intimate details on Face book and yet clam up to a sensible, caring adult in a confidentiality bound ‘safe’ setting.