Pronouns on name badges. The media has had a field day this week as British retail icon M&S adds the option (yes, just the option) of pronouns to staff name badges.

I’ve been wanting to write a piece about gender for my website for a while. To be honest I have held off. The reason is I didn’t want to get it wrong or write something that was misunderstood. The fact is I do work with clients who want to understand more about their gender and sexuality. I’d like to work with more. I also want future clients to know that I have experience of working with people who are understanding their own gender and sexuality.

The role of an effective counsellor is to create a safe environment and a space where a client can explore a topic, no matter what that topic is.

When I read the story about M&S providing the option to staff to include pronouns on their name badges, it felt the right time to talk about the subject. Perhaps with M&S in the conversation it gave me the confidence to write something. The difficulty is that the subject of pronouns is contentious, it seems to be in the media at any rate! People are quick to judge and the debate soon becomes polarised.

Counselling takes place in a safe and non-judgemental space

The irony of counselling is that it is completely non-judgemental. Whether you identify as:

  • Male
  • Female
  • Transgender: male to female
  • Transgender: female to male
  • Non-binary
  • Gender fluid
  • Unsure
  • Other

it doesn’t matter. What a counsellor sees is a human. One that may need an environment to explore safely what it is they are feeling and to be comfortable in their own skin. Most counsellors I know, me included want clients at the end of working together simply to be happier, healthier and ready to face challenges with greater resilience that at the start.

Don’t be put off by the name Hisownmancounselling. We see women as well as men! People don’t always want to receive counselling from someone of their own gender.

Anyone can experience mental health challenges from time to time. For people who identify as LGBTIQ+ these challenges may include one or a combination of:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Anxiety including social anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Drugs and alcohol misuse
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal feelings

Embracing your identity is likely to have a positive impact on your wellbeing and outlook. You are assured of a safe and non-judgemental space to explore your feelings. Whether in-person or over the internet my work is just as effective. Contact me in confidence either by email or call 07851512049.