Versions of Life is like a prism: it shows various facets of life by presenting a collection of experiences of people with different problems who have chosen to turn to counselling.
Initially, I couldn’t see how talking to someone would help anything. I was so very wrong, it does help, it helps to make sense of everything, it helps put things in perspective, it has helped, and is still helping, me to become stronger, more confident, more determined to make the most of my life. I have been able to realise my own strengths and weaknesses, and I am still learning.
Reading this text gives insight into the problems brought to the counsellor and the inner feelings of those they are trying to help. It reminds us that asking for help is not a shame, a stigma, but rather demonstrates the will to improve. Every story is like a seesaw: the beginning is uphill and shows the various problems faced by people. In the second phase, one can then see how counselling has actually helped these people; a collection of first-person stories, a collection of lives.
John Clayden studied medicine at Liverpool University, qualifying in 1969 having won the Pathology & Bacteriology medal and various other prizes and distinctions along the way. He had decided from an early stage that he wanted a career in general practice and, after hospital training, he returned to his home town in West Yorkshire and eventually took over a rural dispensing practice in the country town of Holmfirth where, with the nearby cottage hospital, he was able to offer a comprehensive, holistically orientated, ‘cradle to grave’ service including home deliveries, care of the elderly and minor surgery along with the more routine work of a country doctor.