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It’s 2015, a grey wet morning at LandWorks…

“I don’t want anything to do with that Hippy-Dippy Totnes sh#t”.
I’d only wondered if he would like to do a bit of counselling work.

“Mumbo-jumbo, airy fairy boll#@ks, init.”
I was clearly going to have to find a new approach.

“Talking about myself, just makes it worse Chris, I hate myself already.”
Yes, I think I was probably already there on that…

Becca has been delivering counselling sessions at LandWorks since 2014, over 850 individual sessions with around 100 ‘clients’.

I don’t suppose this happens very often, perhaps not the normal offer or personal commitment within the criminal justice system, it may well be unique.

Unique or not, it’s one of the most fundamental transformative occurrences that happens at LandWorks. An exceptional offer that builds on and underpins the resettlement journey that is possible.

It’s not for everyone and initially when I first offered this chance I was often told to “f#@k off”.

But less so now…

Partly because I have learned not to call the first session ‘counselling’, more of an introductory chat, to meet a really good person. And partly people seeing their peers achieve life changing moments, converts into “I would like some of that.”

But mostly because Becca delivers bespoke counselling, developed over the years and very much through a relationship lens. It is completely relevant to these lives, LandWorks and the resettlement journey that people embark on.

Adhering to total professionalism, I (frustratingly) never find out what happens in these sessions. But I have seen people burst out of the counselling room (yes, we have one), dry retching as the emotional release becomes physical.

I’ve jumped as someone rushes past and hurls a symbolic something into the hedgerow and then rushes back in. Tears, melt downs, very drained and worried looks are all part of the journey.

The result (after a number of weekly sessions) is often significant, life altering. Making sense of change, life and allowing somebody to move forward.

Some weeks later…

“Well, that stuff I’ve done with Beccy, it’s been alright. Do you know Chris, it’s not just about the relationships I have, but about the one I have with myself?”

I think that’s probably about right.


24th March 2022